About Alyssa and Marissa

Alyssa Connell is Assistant Director, Leadership Communications at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied British literature of the long eighteenth century (1660-1800), specializing in travel writing, book history, cartography, and epistolary fiction. She also taught classes on periodical culture, Jane Austen, eighteenth-century travel narratives, British Romanticism, and nineteenth-century fugitive stories, as well as a monthly community literature seminar in Philadelphia.

Marissa Nicosia is an Assistant Professor of English at Penn State Abington where she teaches, researches, and writes about early modern English literature, book history, and political theory. Marissa is insatiably curious about weird pamphlets, recipe manuscripts, and other rare books. Archival oddities, and modern responses to them, continue to fuel her investment in book history and manuscript studies. She has documented some of these materials on the group blog Unique@Penn, on her blog marginal notes, and twitter. Through the Andrew W. Mellon- Rare Book School Fellowship in Critical Bibliography, she has taken three courses at The Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. Marissa was a contributing editor at the Appendix where she wrote about the bizarre futures of the  Mistris Parliament plays and the challenges of roasting lobster.
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10 thoughts on “About Alyssa and Marissa

  1. Absolutely wonderful blog with great information — Thank both of you!!

    I have one question (actually more than one, but one will surffice:)
    How do the ingredients compare with current, available counterparts? Looking at the recipes there are many examples I can see of so here’s two using the Maccarony Cheese recipe: 1) wheat variety used to make the pasta and 2) cultures used to make the cheeses. This would play into a variety of issues including actual taste, nutrition, storage, etc.

    I realize that my question may be beyond the scope of your work/interest — which is fine — but I am very curious if either of you has explored this aspect.

    • This is a really interesting question. In the spirit of updating recipes, we used store-bought, dry pasta and mass-produced cheese when we made our “Maccarony Cheese” because most modern home cooks have these things to hand. I assume that the wheat and culture varieties in early modern grains and cheeses would profoundly effect taste and nutrition.

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