Marcie Cohen Ferris, associate professor in the Department of American Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, will celebrate the release of her new book, The Edible South: The Power of Food and the Making of an American Region, (UNC Press, 2014), at 6:30 pm on Thursday, September 18th in the Garden Terrace of McIntyre’s Books at Fearrington Village.
Like her first book, Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South (UNC Press, 2010), The Edible South is a scrupulously researched travelogue through southern kitchens across the region, and demonstrates how deeper explorations into culinary history bring the South’s complex, layered relationships–between individuals, cultures, and communities–into clearer focus.
As she told Gina Mahalek of UNC Press,
Food is history. Food is place. Food is power. When we examine the historical arc of food in the American South, we encounter the tangled interactions of its people over time, a world of relationships fraught with conflict, yet bound by blood and attachment to place. The contradiction between the realities of plenty and deprivation, of privilege and poverty in southern history resonates in the region’s food traditions.
…Today, food is increasingly recognized as an important tool of analysis in southern cultural and economic history, as well as in the social sciences. Food foregrounds the once-silenced voices of those whose hands and minds defined southern cuisine—women in particular. Enslaved cooks, house slaves, and field hands of the antebellum South, the white and black working poor of the post-Civil War South, and food workers of the contemporary industrial South are central to this story.“
Ferris teaches courses on food in American culture, Jewish history, and material culture, and served as President of the Southern Foodways Alliance in Oxford, Mississippi from 2006 through 2008.
In addition to McIntyre’s, she will visit the following locations to read and talk more about food in the South (check the UNC website for any added engagements):
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 7:00 PM
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Humanities Tennessee-Southern Festival of Books
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 7:00 PM
Chapel Hill, NC
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 7:00 PM
Durham Southwest Public Library