The Eighth Biennial Graduate Group Symposium is dedicated to the late Phyllis Pray Bober who recognized the important relationship between food and culture and found joy in sharing her passion for food studies with her colleagues and students.
Phyllis Pray Bober (1920-2002) served as dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Bryn Mawr College from 1973 to 1980 and held dual appointments in the Departments of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology and History of Art. Before coming to Bryn Mawr College, she was chair of the Department of Fine Arts at New York University’s old Heights campus in the Bronx (1967-73). The project she started while studying archaeology at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, “The Census of Classical Works Known to the Renaissance,” remained her focus for more than forty years and grew into the standard resource for the subject. Professor Bober was also an expert on culinary history. In 1999 she published Art, Culture, and Cuisine: Ancient and Medieval Gastronomy, and a second volume was in progress when she died. She was renowned for preparing feasts based on ancient banquets in her own kitchen and providing seminars on historical cuisine. She served as president of the College Art Association from 1988 to 1990. She was also dedicated to social causes and served as a Democratic committeewoman in Ardmore and on the Board of Directors of the Medical College of Pennsylvania, the first school in the country to train women as doctors. *