Food Taboos: Scripture, Biology and Culture
James Simpkins, Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies Program, Department of Modern & Classical Languages, UConn
Sunday, October 18, 3 pm
UConn, Biology/Physics Building, Room 130
No Registration Needed – Free
Adults and children ages 10 and above. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Why do we eat the foods we do, but shun others, often with a strong emotional response? James Simpkins’ talk will focus on food taboos beyond common religious injunctions. Explore well-known foodstuff taboos and realign them with universal human tendencies, showing parallels between the near-universal avoidances as well as cultural preferences and traditions. Additionally, consider contemporary situations where historic dietary restrictions have been removed or modified. In these unique scenarios, traditional food taboos and their function are magnified to reveal strong inclusive and exclusive functions.
James Simpkins is a PhD candidate studying American Food Culture and Food in literature. He attended Peter Kump's New York Cooking School and spent 13 years in professional kitchens all over the U.S. and France. He taught for Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco and Chicago. He also has a B.A. in Comparative Religious Studies. He will provide first-hand testimony from the years of professional cooking where he has been witness to numerous instances of what people don't—or won’t—eat.
Presented by the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History and the Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies Program, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UConn.
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