Wednesday, February 22, 2006


March Madness- two talks on meat and mad cow disease in American culture. CSFC

The Critical Studies in Food and Culture research cluster presents
March Madness- two talks on meat and mad cow disease in American culture.

Friday, March 3rd at
12 Noon in 228 Voorhies.
Light refreshments will be served.

"It's a mad mad mad mad world: Mad Cow and Meat Systems"

Laura Hudson
Cultural Studies Graduate Group, UC Davis

Ten years ago, the U.S. "mad cow" crisis reached a head with the appearance of former cattle rancher turned vegan activist Howard Lyman on the Oprah Winfrey show. Lyman’s account of common meat industry practices, including the use of cattle proteins in cattle feed, led Oprah to exclaim: “It has just stopped me cold from eating another burger!” The National Cattleman's Beef Association sued both Lyman and Winfrey for their statements. Fear that meat production practices might result in a public health crisis was secondary to fear over the economic effects that public distrust would have on the industry. While mad cow disease has largely faded from the public eye, superseded by the explosion of other crises, the industry continues to employ production methods that put public health at risk in the interests of industry profit. What an investigation of industry and government response to the threat of mad cow disease reveals is that it is not the cows that have gone mad, but the system itself.


"Defamiliarizing 'Business As Usual': Mad Cow Disease as Cultural Crisis"

[Abstract to follow]

Lynn Houston
Assistant Professor of English
California State University, Chico

This event is free and open to the public.
Please join us for these two interesting presentations.
For more information: please contact Stacy Jameson at

Critical Studies in Food and Culture (CSFC) is a research cluster sponsored by the Davis Humanities Institute and the American Studies Department at the University of California, Davis. It aims to support and disseminate the work of Faculty and Graduate Student researchers investigating the intersections of food and cultural studies, as well as the critical analysis of eating practices and the broader cultures of consumption. Please visit our temporary web site at

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Dean's Fellowship in the History of Home Economics and Human Nutrition

Dean's Fellowship in the History of Home Economics and Human Nutrition

The College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, is seeking
applications for the 2006 Dean's Fellowship in the History of Home
Economics and Human Nutrition. Preference will be given to scholars in
more advanced stages of a research project but Ph.D. candidates are
encouraged to apply. One award of $6,000 is available for a summer or
sabbatical residency of six continuous weeks to utilize the resources
available from the College and the Cornell Library System in pursuit of
scholarly research into the history of home economics and its impact on
American society. Deadline: March 1. See for details.

(Ms.) Gret Atkin, Assistant to S. Kay Obendorf, Associate Dean for
College of Human Ecology
Cornell University
185 MVR Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
P (607) 255-4519
F (607) 254-4403

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


This Friday: Charlotte Biltekoff

Reminder: The new DHI Research Cluster for the Critical Studies of Food and Culture invites you to join us for our first event Friday, February 3rd at noon Come learn more about this new cluster and hear Charlotte Biltekoff present her work. Refreshments will follow the talk.

“Dietary Ideals / Social Ideals:
A Cultural Perspective on Food and

Charlotte Biltekoff

Postdoctoral Scholar in Food Science and
Technology and American Studies
University of California, Davis

Friday, February 3rd 12:00
Voorhies 228

This talk will explore the meaning of dietary health from a cultural and a historical perspective and show why it is important to understand the social role that dietary advice plays. It will consider the relationship between dietary ideals and social ideals in the United States from the late nineteenth century to the present, focusing primarily on the World War II National Nutrition Program, a massive homefront nutrition education program. My central claim will be that the nutrition lessons promoted by wartime dietary reformers aimed not only for individual health but also for social well-being, and that wartime dietary ideals also delineated the boundaries of fitness for citizenship. Towards the end of the talk, we will reflect on how this historical perspective on dietary advice might help us to think about the social role of dietary ideals within the contemporary context of the obesity epidemic.

About the Speaker:
Charlotte Biltekoff is currently working on developing a cross-college program in food studies at the University of California at Davis, where she is a postdoctoral scholar with appointments in Food Science and Technology and American Studies. Her book project, “Hidden Hunger: Food, Health and Citizenship from the Late Nineteenth Century to the Obesity Epidemic” is a cultural history of the relationship between dietary ideals and social ideals in the United States. Charlotte recently completed her graduate work in American Civilization at Brown University. Prior to starting graduate school, she cooked at several restaurants in San Francisco and received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.

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