Rachel A. Snell

Lecturer in Honors, 111/112 Faculty Coordinator
Office: 137 Estabrooke Hall

B.A. University of Maine
M.A. University of New Hampshire
Ph.D. University of Maine

  • Scholarly interests: Rachel is a specialist in nineteenth-century North America, women’s history, and food studies. In her research, she argues that food and food writing present a richly rewarding lens for understanding the experiences of ordinary women. Rachel believes this vantage point also holds great potential for engaging students with the study of the past. Cooking and eating are mundane tasks few pause to critically consider, but for people of most times, places, ethnicities, and races, these tasks form the foundation of their identities.


  • Honors Thesis: Jedidiah Morse and the crusade for the New Jerusalem: the cultural catalysts of the Bavarian Illuminati conspiracy (2006)


  • Why I Teach in Honors: I teach in Honors because of Charlie Slavin, the late dean of the Honors College and my dear friend and mentor. Charlie’s role in drawing me into Honors is shared with many of the Honors faculty, but I was fortunate to first meet Charlie and experience Honors as a student myself. Charlie recruited me to join the Honors College when I was a high school senior adamantly opposed to attending the University of Maine. What initially convinced me to join the Honors College was Charlie’s description of the Honors Endeavor, the challenge and the joy of confronting material outside our intellectual comfort zone with a group of students and faculty drawn from nearly every discipline on campus. Having been a student in the Honors College grants me a unique insight into the curriculum that I combine with my training as a historian to engage students in contemplation of the relationship between past and present, the connections between the texts under discussion and our contemporary society, and, finally, to help students make connections between their Honors reading, their programs of study, and their daily lives. The combination of intellectual risk taking and the effort to relate the fruits of those risks to programs of study, daily life, and the broader community is, I believe, where the true value of an Honor’s education lies.