Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2013

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

American Studies

First Advisor

Rabinovitz, Lauren

First Committee Member

Marra, Kim

Second Committee Member

Mooney, Barbara

Third Committee Member

Rigal, Laura

Fourth Committee Member

Trachsel, Mary


This dissertation examines Carla Emery's The Encyclopedia of Country Living and her contribution to the modern homesteading movement. Emery (1939-2005) advocated the use of traditional methods and antique cookbooks for food self-sufficiency. She first self published and distributed the book in "issues" (1971), which were eventually combined and sold as a single book, originally named The Old Fashioned Recipe Book (1974). A reading community developed around The Encyclopedia and readers participated in its development by submitting recipes and homesteading resources. Several editions have followed and the book remains in print, considered an authoritative reference for modern homesteading.

Modern homesteading is rooted in the traditions of homesteading and domestic advice. It represents a consciousness of human relationships with the land for food production and the role domestic advice in cooking and other aspects of home economics, Emery recommended a country living foodways and 19th century methods of food production for homesteading, attempting to de-industrialize the kitchen. Emery represents an important and persistent cultural interest in going back-to-the-land. Modern homesteading practices also provide possible responses to contemporary post-industrial concerns including consumer culture, food insecurity, and the environment.


back-to-the-land, Carla Emery, food, homesteading, modern homesteading, self-sufficiency


vi, 151 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 143-151).


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Copyright 2013 Kirsten Archer