Although everyone is interested in eating, people don’t usually think of food as a subject which can tell us a great deal about human culture, values, and psychology. Food has, however, been the subject of much work by humanities scholars and social scientists, and their studies have suggested that “foodways” are intimately tied to people’s sense of identity, and to cultural continuity and change. This Cabin Fever presenation by scholar Susan Swetnam will give audience members an informal introduction to such study of food. It provides a sampler of the kinds of questions that scholars ask, gives examples (from Idaho and beyond) of how food can reflect culture, and invites listeners to think about their own foodways and what they might mean. You’ll never think about dinner (or breakfast, or lunch, or holiday meals) in quite the same way again! Susan Swetnam taught in ISU’s Department of English and Philosophy from 1979 until her retirement in 2013, during that time recognized for outstanding teaching, research, and public service. Over the years she has authored numerous articles and seven books, including collections of personal essays/memoirs, most recently A Season of Little Sacraments (Liturgical Press, 2016) and Books, Bluster, and Bounty (Utah State University Press), which won the Idaho Library Association’s award for Idaho Book of the Year in 2012. On the national level, she has served as a consultant and grant reviewer for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and as an evaluator of humanities programs in several other states.
FREE community lecture - no registration required ($5 suggested donation)