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"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.