Food

New Books in October

October is upon us, and we have a number of new books to introduce to you this month. Be on the lookout for these exciting titles at bookstores, online, or at academic meetings later this fall.

978-0-8223-6918-9In The Right to Maim, Jasbir K. Puar continues her pathbreaking work on the liberal state, sexuality, and biopolitics to theorize the production of disability, using Israel’s occupation of Palestine as an example of how settler colonial states rely on liberal frameworks of disability to maintain control of bodies and populations.

Jennifer Terry, in Attachments to War, traces how biomedical logics entangle Americans in a perpetual state of war, in which new forms of wounding necessitate the continual development of treatment and prosthetic technologies while the military justifies violence and military occupation as necessary conditions for advancing medical knowledge.

978-0-8223-6973-8Life in the Age of Drone Warfare, edited by Lisa Parks and Caren Kaplan, explores the historical, juridical, geopolitical, and cultural dimensions of drone technology and warfare, showing how drones generate ways of understanding the world, shape the ways lives are lived and ended on the ground, and operate within numerous mechanisms of militarized state power.

 

Tracing the college experiences of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in her new book Grateful Nation, Ellen Moore challenges the popular narratives that explain student veterans’ academic difficulties while showing how these narratives and institutional support for the military lead to suppression of campus debate about the wars, discourage anti-war activism, and encourage a growing militarization.

978-0-8223-6941-7.jpg

The Extractive Zone by Macarena Gómez-Barris extends decolonial theory into greater conversation with race, sexuality, and Indigenous studies; and traces the political, aesthetic, and performative practices of South American indigenous activists, intellectuals, and artists that emerge in opposition to the ruinous effects of extractive capital.

Essays, interviews, and artist statements in Collective Situations —many of which are appearing in English for the first time—present a range of socially engaged art practices in Latin America between 1995 and 2010 that rethink the boundaries between art and activism. The collection is edited by Bill Kelley Jr. and Grant H. Kester.

In Never Alone, Except for Now, juxtaposing contemporary art against familiar features of the Web such as emoticons, Kris Cohen explores how one can be connected to people and places online while simultaneously being alone and isolated. This phenomenon lies in the space between populations built through data collection, and publics created by interacting with others.

Originally published in 1939, Aimé Césaire’s Cahier d’un Retour au Pays Natal is a landmark of modern French poetry and a founding text of the Négritude movement. Journal of a Homecoming, a bilingual edition, features a new authoritative translation, revised introduction, and extensive commentary, making it a magisterial edition of Césaire’s surrealist masterpiece.

978-0-8223-6949-3In Neoliberalism from Below, Verónica Gago provides a new theory of neoliberalism by examining how Latin American neoliberalism is propelled not just from above by international finance, corporations, and government, but by the activities of migrant workers, vendors, sweatshop workers, and other marginalized groups in and around the La Salada market in Buenos Aires.

Kristen Ghodsee, in Red Hangover, examines the legacies of twentieth-century communism on the contemporary political landscape twenty-five years after the Berlin Wall fell, reflecting on the lived experience of postsocialism and how many ordinary men and women across Eastern Europe suffered from the massive social and economic upheavals in their lives after 1989.

978-0-8223-5884-8Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and his experience trading derivatives, in The Social Life of Financial Derivatives, Edward LiPuma theorizes the profound social dimensions of derivatives markets and the processes, rituals, mentalities, and belief systems that drive them.

In Monrovia Modern, Danny Hoffman uses the ruins of four iconic modernist buildings in Monrovia, Liberia as a way to explore the relationship between the built environment and political imagination, showing how these former symbols of modernist nation building transformed into representations of the challenges that Monrovia’s residents face.

Steeped in Heritage, by Sarah Ives, explores the racial and environmental politics behind South Africa’s rooibos tea industry to examine heritage-based claims to the indigenous plant by two groups of contested indigeneity: white Afrikaners and “coloured” South Africans.

In Tropical Freedom, Ikuko Asaka examines emancipation’s intersection with settler colonialism in North America, showing how emancipation efforts in the United States and present-day Canada were accompanied by attempts to relocate freed blacks to tropical regions, thereby conceiving freedom as a racially segregated condition based upon geography and climate.

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Q & A with Brad Weiss

Weiss 1Brad Weiss is Professor of Anthropology at the College of William & Mary and the author of The Making and Unmaking of the Haya Lived World: Consumption, Commoditization, and Everyday Practice, also published by Duke University Press, and Street Dreams and Hip Hop Barbershops: Global Fantasy in Urban Tanzania. In his new book, Real Pigs: Shifting Values in the Field of Local Pork, Brad Weiss traces the desire for creating “authentic” local foods in the Piedmont region of central North Carolina as he follows farmers, butchers, and chefs as they breed, raise, butcher, market, sell, and prepare their pasture-raised hogs for consumption.

real pigsIn Real Pigs, you grapple with the definition of “real food.” In a nutshell, what’s your interpretation of the term?

I approach this question in an ethnographic way. What I mean by that is I’m really interested in how and why various communities use this term – in their writing, in their sales, in their own accounts of why they do what they do. And then I try to understand the patterns – the convergences and the conflicts – that come to define (if loosely) what makes some food “real.”  For people who are interested in “real pigs” (which is, after all, the title of the book) it has something to do with both the pigs themselves – the fact that these animals have characteristics that distinguish them from industrially produced pigs – but probably even more to do with the methods by which they are raised. That is, in the outdoors, reproducing under their own terms (e.g., building nests), and with a concern for their welfare as living creatures.  Somehow, this makes the pork that derives from this encounter between “pigs and the people that love them” (this was the joke title my farmer friends came up with for this book) more “real.”  I should add that I also want to hold the term “real food” up to some scrutiny. It can often lead us to misunderstand how and why people who do not have access to what is deemed “real food” actually eat.  So much of the language of food politics has an unfortunate moralizing tone, and I want to be cognizant of the implications of this kind of discourse.

As part of your research, you spent most of a summer working on a North Carolina farm. How did this experience change your perspective on pig farming?

Well, I’m not sure I had any perspective on pig farming before I did this work. I had done work with farmers in Tanzania for some earlier field research (I’m really an Africanist; I just happened to find the pigs while I lived in North Carolina), some of whom raised animals, though by no means were they engaged in animal husbandry as a livelihood. Many folks had a goat or two, but that was about it.  My very anecdotal understanding of pig farming was that a lot of people I knew talked about how intelligent pigs are, and I thought that this must inform how farmers thought about their work with these animals. Indeed, lots of farmers do talk about this, and adapt their husbandry to their animals’ personalities. On the other hand, there are plenty of farmers that don’t care about this very much at all – they just like having a few pigs around to eat up their garbage, the leavings from their gardens, and turn their soil for them.  And the pigs are happy to oblige.  What I really learned about pig farming was how complicated the entire operation is, and not just the pigs.  What do you do when the price of feed goes up 40% because of a massive drought in Russia? If blight decimates your tomatoes, where are you going to get the money to build the farrowing houses you’ve planned on?  Can you raise the price of your pork if half of the turkeys you decide to breed keel over in a rainstorm? Everything is interconnected in farming, and you are very much at the mercy of natural and cultural forces beyond your control.

In the book, you publish interviews with several figures in the food community: farmers, restaurant owners and chefs, and marketers. Why was it valuable to you to include these interviews?

As I say in the book, I wanted to let some of the most important people – activists, entrepreneurs, scholars – in this food movement in the Piedmont speak for themselves.  I tried to very minimally edit the conversations to allow their views to come through. In part, I wanted readers to recognize how some of the wider themes I address in the book as a whole – about “connection” and other topics – are really very present in these kinds of conversations. I also wanted to present views that are, each in their own way, somewhat different from my own. In this way I hope there is a kind of open-ended quality to the discussions that allows- or maybe requires- the reader to decide for themselves what the important questions are.

In the chapter “Pigs in a Local Place,” you note the strong appeal of local food. Why do you think farmers and consumers have fixated so heavily on locality?

The whole question of “local food” is in some ways an overarching theme of this book, and that is because it is so strongly associated with efforts to create an alternative food system.  Why this is so is a pretty complicated matter, and I’m as interested in how it is put into practice as I am in suggesting reasons why “the local” is so important.  I would say there are different kinds of reasons at different scales of analysis.  For one thing, in Europe there are very specific ideas about how regional foodstuffs and cuisines are threatened by commodity production; but then many of these products are protected as regional products through a legal order of what is called denomination.  So the current scene is, in many ways, overdetermined by this longstanding effort to legally protect culinary products in ways that ties them to specific places of origin.  At the same time, many activists argue that there are strong connections between places and tastes, and it is this sensory relationship that is central to “good” food.  I try, in the book (and this chapter in particular), to ask: what is it that makes places so compelling? What are their sensory, and social, and cultural qualities? How does place become an expression of value? Because, ultimately, a place is not just a geographical location, it is a way of evaluating the relationships that define and inhabit a recognizable locale.

You mention that “the presence of people of color remains notably limited in farmers’ markets, farm-to-table restaurants, and the like” (253). What potential solutions exist for this racial divide?

If I could really answer this question it would be a major accomplishment. It is a challenge, and  – I hasten to add – it is one that almost everyone in the alternative food scene in the Piedmont recognizes, and is trying to address. North Carolina has a long, well-documented history of systematic discrimination against African-American farmers, and not just because of slavery, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow. US Department of Agriculture policies denied farm loans to qualified African-American farmers through the 1990s. The courts are just beginning to address these claims, which entails the largest civil rights settlement in US history.  So it’s perfectly predictable, in many ways, that African-American farmers would have a hard time bringing their products to market, and African-American consumers would be wary of, even progressive, “alternatives” that seem to want to include them in North Carolina.  How do we overcome this history and its ongoing effects? As I’ve said, many very talented activists, market managers, and others are sincerely working to do better outreach, make Electronic Benefit Transfers (EBT, or Food Stamps) viable for use at farmers markets, recruit farmers of color, etc.  There is some limited change that can be seen on these fronts. I also think the efforts to pull more African-American farmers into marketing relationships that do not require them to go to farmers’ markets (which can be incredibly time consuming, and might just not be worth it at all for farmers raising only a few animals, or growing limited quantities of produce) are promising.  The North Carolina Natural Hog Growers Association has made efforts to include a diverse group of farmers, as have aggregators like the company First Hand Foods that I discuss at length in the book.  These efforts are certainly not free of racial conflict. But they are aware of the challenges, and they are definitely creating more opportunities.

Ultimately, what do you hope readers take away from this book?

I have to say that I have a diverse readership in mind, and so I would expect different people to get different things out of the work.  In part, of course, this is a work of anthropology and I would like to think that I am making some contribution to the anthropology of food, of value, and of space.  But, I have also really tried to write this book in a way that almost anyone who has ever been to a farmers market, or eaten grass-fed beef at a restaurant – or even wondered what that was – might find something interesting and engaging in the work. I hope that these readers come to understand how complex the relationships between farmers, chefs, markets, and consumers are. They can see that every market has its contradictions and its challenges.  I do also want avid participants in these alternative practices- folks who already buy pasture-raised pork chops, and go on farm tours – to recognize that just buying local food, or cooking for your family really is not sufficient as a political action to overcome the effects of industrialized production. These are nice, even fun things to do; I do them myself. But they can also reinforce some of the very problems of exclusion and stratification that American society is not very good at recognizing, let alone confronting.

You can order Real Pigs from your favorite local or online bookstore (print and e-editions available), or order directly from Duke University Press. Use coupon code E16PIGS to save 30%!

New Books in July

We are excited to open our Fall 2016 season with these wonderful books, coming out in July. From Black music to the Cold War, we have something for everyone. Keep an eye out for these books this month.

flyboy

Flyboy 2 provides a panoramic view of the last thirty years of Greg Tate’s influential cultural criticism of contemporary Black music, art, literature, film, and politics. These essays, interviews, and reviews cover everything from Miles Davis, Ice Cube, and Suzan Lori Parks to Afro-futurism, Kara Walker, and Amiri Baraka.

In Real Pigs Brad Weiss traces the desire for creating “authentic” local foods in the Piedmont region of central North Carolina as he follows farmers, butchers, and chefs as they breed, raise, butcher, market, sell, and prepare their pasture-raised hogs for consumption.

 

from washingtonIn Cold War Ruins Lisa Yoneyama argues that the efforts intensifying since the 1990s to bring justice to the victims of Japanese military and colonial violence have generated what she calls a “transborder redress culture” that has the potential to bring powerful challenging perspectives on American exceptionalism, militarized security, justice, sovereignty, forgiveness, and decolonization.

In From Washington to Moscow veteran US Foreign Service officer Louis Sell draws archival sources and memoirs—many in Russian—as well as his own experiences to trace the history of US–Soviet relations between 1972 and 1991 and to explain what caused the Soviet Union’s collapse.

Nation Within is the complex history of the events between the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893 and its annexation to the United States in 1898. Highlighting the native Hawaiians’ resistance during that five year span, Tom Coffman shows why occupying Hawaii was crucial to American imperial ambitions.

this thing called.jpgDebjani Ganguly’s This Thing Called the World theorizes the contemporary global novel and the social and historical conditions that shaped it, showing how in 1989 the consolidation of the information age, the perpetual state of war, and the focus on humanitarianism transformed the novel into a form that addresses contemporary social, technological, and political upheavals.

Offering a new queer theorization of Melodrama, Jonathan Goldberg explores the ways melodramatic film and literature provide an aesthetics of impossibility and how melodrama as a whole provides queer ways to promote identifications that exceed the bounds of the identity categories that regulate and constrain social life.

color of violenceIn Encoding Race, Encoding Class Sareeta Amrute explores the lives of Indian IT coders temporarily working in Berlin, showing how their cognitive labor reimagines race and class and how their acceptance and resistance to their work offers new potentials for alternative visions of living and working in neoliberal economies.

Presenting the fierce and vital writing of organizers, lawyers, scholars, poets, and policy makers, Color of Violence radically repositions the antiviolence movement by putting women of color at its center, covers violence against women of color in its myriad manifestations, and maps strategies of movement building and resistance.

 

 

 

French Historical Studies publishes special issue on the history of food in France

FHS_36-2_covWhat could be better than France and food? The special issue editors of “Food and France: What Food Studies Can Teach Us about History,” Erica J. Peters and Bertram Gordon, are proud to publish this issue of French Historical Studies attesting to the growth of interest in food history. In this guest post, they give an overview of the topics selected.

In the last generation, food history has gained increased attention on the part of researchers and the general public. The Food History News website currently lists fifteen culinary history organizations in the United States, Canada, and Australia and some twenty-two academic periodicals are devoted to food studies. The five articles published in the FHS special issue offer a broad range of social and cultural insights into the development of French gastronomy ranging chronologically from the introduction of coffee into seventeenth-century France to the black market restaurants in Paris during the Second World War.

Acquiring a new taste for coffee, seventeenth century consumers willfully ignored the slavery that helped produce it. The new beverage also fueled images of sexuality onto exoticized harems as Julia Landweber shows in “‘This Marvelous Bean’: Adopting Coffee into Old Regime French Culture and Diet.” In his “La construction de la renommée des produits des terroirs, Acteurs et enjeux d’un marché de la gourmandise en France (XVIIe-début XIXe siècle),” Philippe Meyzie demonstrates how the promotion of terroir in the eighteenth century ties into issues of social status among an aspiring middle class in France.

Two articles focus on the social dimensions of food in turn of the twentieth century France. Martin Bruegel‘s “Workers’ Lunch Away From Home in the Paris of the Belle Époque: The French Model of Meals as Norm and Practice” shows the gap between a popularly imagined “repas normal,” or standard meal, and the reality of the more meager lunches of the working class French, while Patricia Tilburg makes a parallel case for the midinettes, working women who survived on street food for lunch. As with the “repas normal” and the reality of workers’ lunches, the popular image of the midinettes as carefree, happy-go-lucky, and indifferent to food was very far from the reality. Kenneth Mouré‘s, “La capitale de la faim: Black Market Restaurants in Paris 1940-1944,” demonstrates that access to Paris’s most exclusive restaurants became a trophy first seized by German forces in 1940 and then claimed by the Americans in 1944.

The special issue of French Historical Studies attests to academic interest in food history while opening new vistas into French history.

Check out the full issue here. To subscribe to French Historical Studies, visit dukeupress.edu/fhs.

Celebrating TSQ at the Berkshire Conference, Toronto, May 2014

We were so excited to welcome TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly with an official launch at the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians in Toronto last week. The inaugural double issue, "Postposttranssexual: Key Concepts for a 21st Century Transgender Studies," features nearly ninety keyword contributions that "showcase the breadth and complexity of the field." You can subscribe to the journal here.

IMG_3360Editors Paisley Currah and Susan Stryker, along with editorial board membors A. Finn Enke and Frank Galarte, participated in a roundtable on TSQ that included information about the initial conception of the journal, current calls for papers, ideas for special issues in the future, the necessity (and difficulty) of the book review section, and how fashion would be an exciting part of the journal with Frank Gallarte acting as the Fashion Editor. It was thrilling to have an engaged audience participating in the conversation surrounding the bright future of the journal.

Following the roundtable, we had an official launch reception for TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly in the beautiful Croft Chapter House. We were happy to toast the journal with so many interested scholars, contributors, fans of the field, and conference organizers!The temporary tattoos we gave away with the TSQ asterisk were a big hit and it was fun to see so many attendees rocking the tattoos for the rest of the conference.

Check out the photos below for some highlights from the official launch. We hope that everyone will continue to contribute to the conversation on social media using the #TSQjournal hashtag.

Congratulations, TSQ!

TSQ Roundtable

From left to right: Book Review Editor A. Finn Enke, co-Editor Paisley Currah, co-Editor Susan Stryker, moderator Elspeth Brown, and (joining the roundtable via Skype) Fashion Editor Frank Galarte
TSQ Roundtable Audience

Much of the roundtable was facilitated by enthusiastic questions from attendees. It was also enjoyable to follow the thoughts of those who were live-tweeting.
TSQ Reception

The recption, held in Croft Chapter House, included food, drinks, temporary tattoos, and a lot of great conversation (all the necessary items to make a good party!).

 

 

 

 

 

Susan and Paisley at the TSQ Reception

Co-editors Susan Stryker (L) and Paisley Currah (R) address the reception attendees.

Celebrate Mardi Gras with our Journals

Maybe Mardi Gras isn't celebrated in your city, but who says you can't get into the spirit? Duke University Press has published many journal articles on Mardi Gras, and we've made these two freely available for the holiday—so don your beads and mask, cut a slice of king cake, and dive into these articles.*

B2_logoOutline_k_web"Spenser and Milton at Mardi Gras: English Literature, American Cultural Capital, and the Reformation of New Orleans Carnival" by Richard Rambuss in boundary 2 (27:2)

Read an excerpt:

Milton may be far from mind when one now thinks of or, better, experiences what is advertised as the world's greatest free party. Yet, as we have begun to consider, a rather detailed, even learned usage of literature—particularly English Renaissance and classical literature—played a structuring role in Comus's endeavor to appropriate and dignify the residual Latin traditions of Carnival. Propounding a caste status for its founders that was then more an aspiration than an actuality, a commemorative booklet issue by the Mistick Krewe in 1947 thus explains that 'as the members of Comus were socially important this meant that their celebration of Mardi Gras was orderly, educational and cultural.' (pages 49-50)

For more of "Spenser and Milton at Mardi Gras," click here.

 

GLQ_black_web"Mardi Gras Tourism and the Construction of Sydney as an International Gay and Lesbian City" by Kevin Markwell in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (8:1-2)

Read an excerpt:

Mardi Gras attracts many domestic and international tourists to Sydney during February, and their numbers peak just prior to the parade and party at the end of the festival. The festival, parade, and party are major events on Australia’s tourism calendar. There is a strong representation from countries such as the United States, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and France, as well as increasing numbers of tourists from Southeast Asia, and Mardi Gras packages are advertised in the gay and lesbian press in European and North American countries. While approximately 15 percent of the eighty events at the festival are free, many of the most popular ones require tickets… Full participation in the festival is an expensive undertaking, especially when coupled with the costs of outfits; body treatments such as waxing, tanning, gym training, hairstyling, and party drugs; and, for tourists, accommodation and transportation costs. Many people are willing, however, to spend large sums because Mardi Gras becomes for them the major yearly event that helps define their gay or lesbian identity. (page 84)

For more of "Mardi Gras Tourism," click here.

 

Roll With ItDon't forget to check out Matt Sakakeeny's new book Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans while you're on your Mardi Gras kick!

 

*If you're in a location that really celebrates Mardi Gras, don't be concerned. You can still read these articles through the end of the month. Recover from your festivities and then get to reading.

Two Radical History Review Articles Win Awards

Two articles published in the Duke University Press Journal, Radical History Review, have recently won awards. Congratulations to the Radical History Review and to these authors!

107_coverGregg Mitman and Paul Erickson’s article "Latex and Blood: Science, Markets, and American Empire" from the special issue Transnational Environments: Rethinking the Political Economy of Nature in a Global Age (issue 107) has been awarded the Ralph Gomory Prize, which distinguishes historical work on the effects of business enterprises on the economic environments of the countries in which they operate.


110-cover

Camille Bégin’s article “‘Partaking of choice poultry cooked a la southern style’: Taste and Race in the New Deal Sensory Economy,” which appeared in the special issue Radical Foodways (issue 110) has been awarded The Belasco Prize for Scholarly Excellence from the American Society of Food Studies. 

 

Radical Foodways

RHR tumblr Today’s New York Times features an article about a school district in Greely, Colorado that is a forerunner in the back-to-scratch food movement.  Most of the school’s lunches will be prepared from scratch this year, rather than relying on packaged or frozen foods, in an effort to combat obesity and poor nutrition.

The back-to-scratch movement is just a small part of the growing “Good Food Revolution” that Americans have embraced. “Radical Foodways,” the most recent issue of Radical History Review examines this “revolution” (evidenced by best-selling books, popular movies and TV shows, local and organic agriculture initiatives, even a vegetable garden at the White House). It also looks at the foundations of the problems in our food supply, including the historical structures of colonialism, labor, regulation, memory, racial and gender inequality that persist in every bite we eat. 

Read the introduction for free here.

Pittburgh Reporter Searches for Paris’s Best Baguette

Kaplancover Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Bob Hoover recently traveled to Paris in search of the perfect baguette. He took along Steven A. Kaplan's 2006 classic Good Bread is Back as his inspiration and guidebook. Kaplan, he writes, is known as "the world's authority on the social history of bread in Paris," but his critics sometimes refer to him as an "ayatollah." Hoover visits some of the bakeries Kaplan recommends and encounters "bread factionalism."

Kaplan on Bread in ZagatBuzz LA

Kaplancover
Steven Laurence Kaplan, author of Good Bread is Back, is interviewed in ZagatBuzz LA. Kaplan recently did a tasting event at Los Angeles's famous Breadbar bakery. Am ong other questions, reporter Merrill Shindler asks Kaplan, "If a meal without wine is like a day without sunshine, what is a meal without bread?" to which he replies, "A meal without bread is very much in the same idiomatic relation of
necessity that your aphorism describes. It is more than a mere
complement. It opens a whole organoleptic front. It enriches and
delights."