263 episodes

Interviews with Food Writers about their New Books
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New Books in Food Marshall Poe

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 7 Ratings

Interviews with Food Writers about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/food

    Biscuit Art

    Biscuit Art

    Ella Hawkins talks about the biscuits she makes, inspired by her research on Elizabethan dress, and on everything from William Morris wallpapers to TV shows like Outlander and Game of Thrones. She also talks about her upcoming monograph, titled Shakespeare in Elizabethan Costume: ‘Period Dress’ in Twenty-First-Century Performance (forthcomin from Bloomsbury), which examines how early modern garments are recycled and reimagined in contemporary costume design for Shakespeare.
    (You’ll hear Saronik trying, and failing, to recall something Oscar Wilde said. Turns out he was slightly misremembering the exact quote; it’s in “The Soul of Man Under Socialism” and the passage begins with the sentence: “Now, I have said that the community by means of organisation of machinery will supply the useful things, and that the beautiful things will be made by the individual.”)
    Ella is a design historian and artist based in Birmingham, England. She has a PhD in Shakespeare Studies and specializes in the study of stage and costume design, dress history, and material culture. Drawing on her academic work, Ella creates edible art inspired by museum collections, art history, and costumes designed for the stage and screen. She uses a range of decorative techniques to make iced biscuit sets that celebrate the material culture of the past and present.Ella has previously worked with the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and the Royal Shakespeare Company on various projects relating to design and theatre history.
    (For our American listeners, ‘biscuit’ in this case means ‘cookie’.)
    Image: Assortment of Ella’s biscuits
    Music used in promotional material: ‘pastorale’ by Dee Yan-Key
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    • 11 min
    Gina Louise Hunter, "Edible Insects: A Global History" (2021)

    Gina Louise Hunter, "Edible Insects: A Global History" (2021)

    From grasshoppers to grubs, an eye-opening look at insect cuisine around the world.
    An estimated two billion people worldwide regularly consume insects, yet bugs are rarely eaten in the West. Why are some disgusted at the thought of eating insects while others find them delicious? Edible Insects: A Global History (Reaktion Books, 2021) provides a broad introduction to the role of insects as human food, from our prehistoric past to current food trends—and even recipes. On the menu are beetles, butterflies, grasshoppers, and grubs of many kinds, with stories that highlight traditional methods of insect collection, preparation, consumption, and preservation. But we not only encounter the culinary uses of creepy-crawlies across many cultures. We also learn of the potential of insects to alleviate global food shortages and natural resource overexploitation, as well as the role of world-class chefs in making insects palatable to consumers in the West. From grasshoppers to grubs, an eye-opening look at insect cuisine around the world.
    An estimated two billion people worldwide regularly consume insects, yet bugs are rarely eaten in the West. Why are some disgusted at the thought of eating insects while others find them delicious? Edible Insects: A Global History provides a broad introduction to the role of insects as human food, from our prehistoric past to current food trends—and even recipes. On the menu are beetles, butterflies, grasshoppers, and grubs of many kinds, with stories that highlight traditional methods of insect collection, preparation, consumption, and preservation. But we not only encounter the culinary uses of creepy-crawlies across many cultures. We also learn of the potential of insects to alleviate global food shortages and natural resource overexploitation, as well as the role of world-class chefs in making insects palatable to consumers in the West.
    Edible Insects is part of the Edible Series published by Reaktion Books. It is a revolutionary series of books on food and drink which explores the rich history of man’s consumption. Each book provides an outline for one type of food or drink, revealing its history and culture on a global scale. 50 striking illustrations, with approximately 25 in colour, accompany these engaging and accessible texts, and offer intriguing new insights into their subject. Key recipes as well as reference material accompany each title. Also available through The University of Chicago Press.

    See our other episodes on Edible Series:
    Avocado by Jeff Miller
    Coffee by Jonathan Morris
    Vanilla by Rosa Abreu-Runkel
    Mustard by Demet Güzey
    Saffron by Ramin Ganeshram
    Tomato by Clarissa Hyman
    More episodes from this series to come…
    Dr. Gina Hunter is Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Illinois State University. She has published research on women's reproductive health, foodways and food systems, the ethnography of the university, and pedagogy and research methods. At Illinois State, she is director of the Office of Student Research, co-Director of the Food Studies Minor, and is affiliated with the Latin American and Latino/a Studies Program. Her regional specialty is Brazil and has twice led a study abroad program in Brazil. 

    Amir Sayadabdi is Lecturer in Anthropology at Victoria University of Wellington. He is mainly interested in anthropology of food and its intersection with gender studies, migration studies, and studies of race, ethnicity, and nationalism.
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    • 38 min
    Francesco Buscemi, "Pasta, Pizza and Propaganda: A Political History of Italian Food TV" (Intellect, 2022)

    Francesco Buscemi, "Pasta, Pizza and Propaganda: A Political History of Italian Food TV" (Intellect, 2022)

    The three protagonists of Pasta, Pizza and Propaganda: A Political History of Italian Food TV (Intellect, 2022) are food, television and politics. These are the three main characters that interrelate, collaborate and fight behind the scenes, while in front of the camera the writers, intellectuals and celebrity chefs talk about, prepare or taste the best Italian dishes.
    In Pasta, Pizza and Propaganda, Dr. Francesco Buscemi develops a political history of Italian ‘good food’ on national television, and the central role of food in Italian culture. The focus is highly original and this is a unique interdisciplinary study at the intersection between food studies, media studies and politics.
    The book retraces the history of Italian food television from a political point of view: the early shows of the pioneers under strict Catholic control in the 1950s and 1960s, the left-wing political twist of the 1970s, the conservative riflusso or resurgence of the 1980s, the disputed Berlusconian era and the rise of the celebrity chefs, which, for better or for worse, makes Italy similar to the other western countries.
    The history of Italy since the mid-1950s is retold through the lenses of food television. This lively book demonstrates that cooking spaghetti in a TV studio is a political act, and tries to uncover how it is possible that, while watching on TV how to make pizza, we become citizens.
    This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.
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    • 55 min
    Emily J. H. Contois and Zenia Kish, "Food Instagram: Identity, Influence, and Negotiation" (U Illinois Press, 2022)

    Emily J. H. Contois and Zenia Kish, "Food Instagram: Identity, Influence, and Negotiation" (U Illinois Press, 2022)

    Image by image and hashtag by hashtag, Instagram has redefined the ways we relate to food. Emily J. H. Contois and Zenia Kish edit contributions that explore the massively popular social media platform as a space for self-identification, influence, transformation, and resistance. Artists and journalists join a wide range of scholars to look at food’s connection to Instagram from vantage points as diverse as Hong Kong’s camera-centric foodie culture, the platform’s long history with feminist eateries, and the photography of Australia’s livestock producers. What emerges is a portrait of an arena where people do more than build identities and influence. Users negotiate cultural, social, and economic practices in a place that, for all its democratic potential, reinforces entrenched dynamics of power. 
    Interdisciplinary in approach and transnational in scope, Food Instagram: Identity, Influence, and Negotiation (U Illinois Press, 2022) offers general readers and experts alike new perspectives on an important social media space and its impact on a fundamental area of our lives. The book has been dubbed by the experts in the field as “a veritable smorgasbord of perspectives on the all-pervasive and all-important nature of food on visual social media” (Tama Leaver, the co-author of Instagram: Visual Social Media Cultures) that “shows how the digital app and the kind of food representations it supports contribute to the building identities and negotiating social and economic relationships” (Fabio Parasecoli, author of Bite Me: Food in Popular Culture). It is a path-blazing, inspirational work offering a vast array of theoretical perspectives, methodological tools, and conceptual innovations.

    Emily Contois is Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the University of Tulsa. She holds a PhD in American studies from Brown University along with master's degrees in Gastronomy from Boston University and Public Health Nutrition from University of California, Berkeley. In addition to numerous articles, she is the author of Diners, Dudes, and Diets: How Gender and Power Collide in Food Media and Culture (2020). She serves on the board of the Association for the Study of Food and Society, H-Nutrition, and Advertising and Society Quarterly. As a public scholar, she has written for NBC News, Jezebel, and Nursing Clio and has appeared on CBS This Morning, BBC Ideas, and Ugly Delicious on Netflix. Learn more about her work at emilycontois.com or connect on social media (@emilycontois).
    Zenia Kish is Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the University of Tulsa. She earned her PhD in American studies at New York University and was a post- doctoral fellow at Stanford University. Her work explores global digital media, sociotechnical imaginaries of food and agriculture, and philanthrocapitalism and has been published in journals including American Quarterly, Cultural Studies, Journal of Cultural Economy, and Environment and Planning A. She is a member of the Agri-Food Technology Research (AFTeR) Project and is associate editor for the Journal of Cultural Economy, as well as serving on the boards of the Journal of Environmental Media and Communication and Race. She is writing a book on philanthropic media cultures (@ZeniaKish).

    Amir Sayadabdi is a Lecturer in Anthropology at Victoria University of Wellington. He is mainly interested in anthropology of food and its intersection with gender studies, migration studies, and studies of race, ethnicity, and nationalism.
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    • 1 hr 11 min
    Natalia Molina, "A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community" (U California Press, 2022)

    Natalia Molina, "A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community" (U California Press, 2022)

    In 1951, Doña Natalia Barraza opened the Nayarit, a Mexican restaurant in Echo Park, Los Angeles. With A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community (U California Press, 2022), historian Natalia Molina traces the life's work of her grandmother, remembered by all who knew her as Doña Natalia--a generous, reserved, and extraordinarily capable woman. Doña Natalia immigrated alone from Mexico to L.A., adopted two children, and ran a successful business. She also sponsored, housed, and employed dozens of other immigrants, encouraging them to lay claim to a city long characterized by anti-Latinx racism. Together, the employees and customers of the Nayarit maintained ties to their old homes while providing one another safety and support.
    The Nayarit was much more than a popular eating spot: it was an urban anchor for a robust community, a gathering space where ethnic Mexican workers and customers connected with their patria chica (their "small country"). That meant connecting with distinctive tastes, with one another, and with the city they now called home. Through deep research and vivid storytelling, Molina follows restaurant workers from the kitchen and the front of the house across borders and through the decades. These people's stories illuminate the many facets of the immigrant experience: immigrants' complex networks of family and community and the small but essential pleasures of daily life, as well as cross-currents of gender and sexuality and pressures of racism and segregation. The Nayarit was a local landmark, popular with both Hollywood stars and restaurant workers from across the city and beloved for its fresh, traditionally prepared Mexican food. But as Molina argues, it was also, and most importantly, a place where ethnic Mexicans and other Latinx L.A. residents could step into the fullness of their lives, nourishing themselves and one another. A Place at the Nayarit is a stirring exploration of how racialized minorities create a sense of belonging. It will resonate with anyone who has felt like an outsider and had a special place where they felt like an insider.
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    • 1 hr 20 min
    On Religion, Food, and Eating in America

    On Religion, Food, and Eating in America

    Dr. Nora Rubel is the Jane and Alan Batkin Professor of Jewish Studies and Chair of the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester in New York. Dr. Ben Zeller is associate professor of religion at Lake Forest College in Illinois. They are co-editors of the book Religion, Food, and Eating in North America from Columbia University Press (2014). 
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    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

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Dr.Jeff.H ,

Perk of Knowing the Author's Perspective

I teach a university course every semester on the history of human nutrition. My students have to write a book review, which some confuse with a book report despite my efforts but that's another matter, after reading a non-fiction book about the history of nutrition, food studies, sports studies, and other related disciplines. New Books in Food is great for my students and for me. I learn about recently released books, which I add to my students' list of possibilities for the book review, and my students get to spend time with the author(s) of the book they selected. This gives them insight regarding an author's intentions for a book, which can prove helpful when they are working on their assignment.

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