Cuisine des mères: Heritage, gender and the construction of culinary culture A luncheon discussion with Rachel Black

All Day
on Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Contact Name:
Elizabeth Amrien
Join us for a luncheon discussion with ethnographer and gastronomist Rachel Eden Black, Assistant Professor and coordinator of Boston University’s MLA program in gastronomy. Black will discuss the case of the “mères lyonnaises,” a group of women in Lyon, France who between 1930 and 1970 reached the pinnacles of French professional cuisine, a world largely dominated by men. Black’s research offers a window onto the changing place of women in French society in the interwar and postwar years. Employing both ethnographic and historical methods, she explores the gender shifts that occurred in the construction of a national French culture in the twentieth century—in this case in the form of cuisine. She draws out the gendered discourses embedded in recipes, memoirs and oral histories of the mères in order to produce an alternative social and cultural narrative and to write women back into contemporary French culinary and cultural history. Carole Counihan, Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Millersville University in Pennsylvania and author of The Anthropology of Food and Body: Gender, Meaning, and Power (Routledge, 1999) and other noteworthy titles, will respond. Black’s specialty is the anthropology of food, with focus on open-air markets, wine production, culture and alcohol, urban agriculture, and the politics of sustainable food systems. Please register via email (Elizabeth Amrien, by Friday, October 18.