Prof. Dr. Nel de Mûelenaere
Nel de Mûelenaere is a historian of 19th and 20th century Europe, and assistant professor at the Social and Cultural Food Studies (FOST) research group of the University of Brussels (VUB). In the fall of 2022, she holds the Peter Paul Rubens Chair at UC Berkeley. Her research focuses on the relation between humanitarian aid, food and gender during and after the First World War. One strand of her work examines the experiences and impact of female American relief workers in Belgium and France. Another looks at food and living standards of Belgian families during and after WWI and the development of home economics and nutritional science. She teaches methodological courses and a course on the history of warfare.
Nel is the academic co-director of the Brussels Institute for Advanced Studies (BrIAS) and the chair of the research committee for the Faculty of Languages and the Humanities. In 2019, dr. de Mûelenaere was the BAEF Cabeaux-Jacobs postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University. There, her research on the Belgian relief work of American home economists Martha Van Rensselaer and Flora Rose in 1923 was rewarded with the Dean’s Fellowship in the History of Home Economics. She holds a PhD in political history (2016) from Antwerp University. Her dissertation explored forgotten militarization processes in Belgian society between 1890 and 1914, and was published by Leuven University Press in 2019. Dr. de Mûelenaere has previously worked as scientific coordinator for NISE - National movements and Intermediary Structures in Europe (2015-2018) and CegeSoma - the Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Contemporary Society (2009-2010).
First World War - Reconstruction - Humanitarian Aid