"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are." This aphorism of famed French gastronome Brillat-Savarin is oft cited by scholars working in the sundry field of "food studies."
In this salon, CHI Fellow and Visiting Lecturer in French Samantha Presnal will flip the script, asking not what people ate, but what they cooked, how they cooked, and why they cooked, in order to better understand their lives and cultures. This hybrid presentation-- part talk, part demonstration, part conversation --will discuss her research approach, which blends methods from social and cultural history, literary criticism, and the culinary arts.
She will begin with the presentation and close reading of a popular cooking magazine from the Belle Epoque and then reproduce one of its featured dishes. By unpacking recipe rhetoric and strapping on an apron herself, Samantha will illustrate the value of studying familiar, quotidian forms of writing and interpreting them from multiple perspectives, from critic to cordon-bleu.
Dr. Naomi Oreskes, the Henry Charles Lea Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University and the author of Why Trust Science?, will deliver a lecture titled "Diversity Isn’t Just the Right Thing to Do; Diversity Helps Us Get the Right Answers."
Science has lagged behind other professions in working to purposefully create opportunities to expand diversity in its workforce. Critics of such efforts have framed diversity as antithetical to the pursuit of excellence in scientific inquiry, but this framing has the problem backwards. In this talk, I argue that we cannot have scientific excellence without diversity.
Sponsored by the Hawkins Lecture Fund and the Department of History at Amherst College, this event is free and open to the public.