Thursday, February 21, 2008, 5:30–7:00 p.m.
First you make a roux... with bear fat: Cooking, eating, and colonial identity in French Louisiana
Shannon Lee Dawdy, University of Chicago
This paper pursues two related questions, the first substantive, the second interpretive: what were people eating in French colonial Louisiana? and what do food practices and their related discourses tell us about colonialism? Using colonial narratives and archaeological data, I show that the meals of French colonial Louisiana were quite distinct from that which is now recognized as Creole cuisine. The argument I develop here is that food patterns in French colonial Louisiana reflect a tension between an adventurous embrace of the exotic and a clinging to French culinary practices. This duality reflects the hybridity of colonial identity while the ways in which it gets resolved reflects the "consuming" transformation of the civilizing process.
All papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminar in person. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Jenny Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (312) 255-3524.
The Newberry Library Seminar in Early American History and Culture is co-sponsored by the University of Chicago, DePaul University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northern Illinois University, and Northwestern University
The Newberry Library
Dr. William M. Scholl Center for
Family and Community History
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, Illinois 60610
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