Everyday, to encourage easy participation points, I ask the same questions. Be prepared to answer the following in class:
Jennifer Jensen Wallach, How America Eats: A Social History of U.S. Food and Culture, (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014). online
Keith W. F Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald, America’s Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004). online
Jeffrey M. Pilcher, Que Vivan Los Tamales!: Food and the Making of Mexican Identity. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998). Several copies available at CSWR.
Marcie Cohen Ferris, The Edible South: The Power of Food and the Making of an American Region. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2014. online
Ruth Reichl, Best American Food Writing 2018.
If you are on campus, the above [online] links take you to the library catalog page for that book with a “View eBook” link. This link brings you to the EBSCOhost site where you can read the chapters online. Click the “PDF Full Text” link on the left, then use the left nav to find the chapter or pages you’re looking for. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to reliably link directly to specific pages.
If you are not on campus, you’ll notice a small blue box with a “Remote Access” link on the library catalog page. Click that link to sign into the UNM Main Campus Library Network, which will ensure you can access the online version as described above.
If you peek at the reading schedule page, you might think there is a lot of reading. You’re right! As a compressed, intensive course, there is a lot of reading. This is unavoidable because I respect the challenges and demands of a four-week course that ostensibly provides comparable intellectual rigor as a full-semester course.
Obviously we can’t just quadruple the reading load for each day. So, it’s roughly double that of a typical upper-level history course. You cannot possibly read every word, or every page, or master all the ideas, and that’s just fine. I expect you to come to class with a familiarity of all the assignments so that you can answer the questions noted at the top of the page. Because we’re covering so much ground so quickly, broad familiarity is far more important than specific details (although hopefully some historical detail will stick with you).
Learning to reading quickly and effectively is one of the key skills we’re developing in this course. You don’t have to read every word carefully to absorb the key features of the assignment. You simply need to read enough to form an opinion on how they approach the topic, what kind of argument they make, what kinds of sources they use, how interesting it is, how they differ from each other, why you do or don’t like it, etc. That’s what we’ll be talking about during our discussions, and you’ll learn from everyone else’s interpretations (or at least past students have reported that to be true).
Almost all readings are meant for a broad (largely non-academic) audience and therefore are relatively quick and engaging reads. At the same time, they are smart, articulate, and give us plenty to talk about, especially as we put them in conversation with each other, and how they tell very different stories of American Food.
First thing is our review QUIZ from week 1.
Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald, United Tastes: The Making of the First American Cookbook, 29-51 (2: Culinary Tradition). PDF
Nothing to do for today, but use the extra day to read ahead and polish your cookbook reviews.
DUE: Cookbook reviews as we’ve discussed. 800 words. Remember to follow the Cookbook Analysis Guide. We will randomly select a few people to comment on their essays, but it’s not a presentation like the food writing one (you can stay in your seat!).
(1,2) Warren J. Belasco, Appetite for Change, 111-31 (5: The Orthodox Defense). PDF
American Food can’t be discussed without reference to American dieting. As with previous readings, we’re not reading these because they are “right”, but because they illustrate a collective insanity about the relationship between food and health. How much do Fad Diets help define American Food? How should we understand the idea of “natural” in terms of American food?
Obviously there is no meeting today, but it’s officially the last day of our summer term, so all work is due. Let me know if you need a few extra days, but that’s all I can offer since grades are due early the following week.