Cannibalism distinguishes the civilized from the uncivilized, the moral from the depraved, and the holy from the wicked – or so the dominant Western narrative would have you think. Rachel B. Hermann’s edited collection, To Feast on Us as Their Prey: Cannibalism and the Early Modern Atlantic, contributes to the interdisciplinary historical study of cannibalism by reconsidering the traditional contexts in which the taboo practice is often explored.
Rice in the Time of Sugar sets out to prioritize rice as a means of understanding Cuban history. Where sugar has been the focus of much research and policy, Pérez endeavors to correct the imbalance, identifying the inextricable link between the two crops and the way they have both been manipulated by foreign powers.
In Fruit from the Sands: The Silk Road Origins of the Foods We Eat, Robert N. Spengler III discusses foods with origins in inner Asia that are now commonplace on tables globally. In our current times of globalization, the book debates how global exchange of goods is not a new aspect of human culinary experiences, as global food trade has allowed plants, seeds, and traditions to travel across continents over the last five millennia.
Occupying a critical middle ground to these discussions, philosopher Erin McKenna provides a fresh, honest approach to this long-standing debate about eating animals in her reflective text, Livestock: Food, Fiber, and Friends.
Culinary Poetics and Edible Images in Twentieth-Century American Literature by Stacie Cassarino is about art and its influence on everyday consumption. Cassarino argues that gastronomic avant-garde literary texts influence national consumption and that these shifts subsequently influence what’s for dinner.
In Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C., Ashanté M. Reese explores how Black communities are left behind in the urban renewal process due to racism, historical geographical segregation and disinvestment of Black neighborhoods, and how these communities navigate low food access. Often ignored by the literature on food access and food security are the coping mechanisms people in these conditions develop to acquire the foods they prefer or need or how people create meaning in the process of doing so.
In “Burgundy: A Global Anthropology of Place and Taste,” Marion Demossier tackles the various socio-cultural, political, and professional practices surrounding the oenological region of Burgundy.
In “Pressure Cooker,” sociologists Sarah Bowen, Joslyn Brenton, and Sinikka Elliott set out to challenge dominant narratives about fixing the food system. By analyzing their ethnographic study of nine women, they reveal the complex factors that form a family’s eating habits.
Kevin Kosar’s “Moonshine: A Global History” explores the plethora of moonshines across time and space in an effort to disavow his readers of stereotypical American associations of moonshine and moonshiners.
In “Governing Bodies: American Politics and the Shaping of the Modern Physique,” Rachel Louise Moran draws from history and women’s studies to consider if the federal government should have a say in what you eat, or how a body should look.