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Conference and video: gender and culinary history @ Radcliffe

16 Aug

Source: Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

Here is a link to videos from a fascinating conference at Radcliffe, which has a huge culinary collection in its Schlesinger Library. The theme is “gender and food,” and there are some fascinating panels–one on “sugar, sweet potatoes and China” looks at the Pacific version of Sidney Mintz’s classic book Sweetness and Power, which was about sugar, taste and the rise of the Atlantic trade systems (slave trade, beginnings of consumerism, settlement of the Atlantic/Caribbean).

Here’s what Drew  Gilpin Faust had to say–this is shortly before she became president of Harvard:

We are going to look at food both as a vehicle of creativity, joy, self-expression, even hedonism. And, at the same time, insist on looking at food as a source, and even instrument of oppression and deprivation.

Other good stuff on writing life histories via food, eating disorders, dealing with famines, and the history of freshness (!).