Saturday, February 17, 2007


CSFC event: Timothy Tomasik

Critical Studies in Food and Culture presents...

Cuisine by the Cut of One's Trousers:
Cookbook Marketing in Renaissance France

a talk by
Timothy Tomasik
Assistant Professor of French
Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Valparaiso University

Friday, February 23rd, 2007
228 Voorhies
UC Davis


“’Cuisine by the Cut of One’s Trousers’: Cookbook Marketing in Renaissance France”

Contrary to what some culinary historians have been asserting up until the last decade or so, the French Renaissance did actually have a thriving trade in homegrown cookbooks. The late medieval French cookbook known as the Viandier galvanized a reappraisal of early modern cuisine by updating its culinary repertoire and making its text more accessible to an increasingly wider audience. This tactic clearly resonated with the reading public because the printed Viandier became a culinary bestseller, appearing in at least twenty-five printed editions between 1486 and 1615. By strategically “marketing” cookbooks to the widest audience possible, the various printers of the Viandier were undoubtedly endeavoring to ensure a profitable market share. However, in so doing, they made available to modest tables the means to imagine if not produce the meals of a cultural and culinary elite. Beginning in the 1530’s, a new generation of cookbooks appears in France that synthesizes the innovations of earlier sixteenth-century texts. Between 1536 and 1627 appear twenty-seven editions of a cookbook associated with the printer Pierre Sergent, bearing witness to the literate public’s appetite for works of cookery. Title pages, woodcuts, and prefatory remarks demonstrate how these cookbooks were being marketed to a wide spectrum of social stations and potential readerships, each representing contradictory desires. Such an analysis demonstrates that banquets are not limited to an elite sector of society. Rather, the Renaissance banquet is a space whose contours can be adapted to fit a number of occasions, accommodating diners from all strata of society.


Tim Tomasik, Assistant Professor of French at Valparaiso University in Indiana, holds a Ph.D in Romance languages from Harvard University. Professor Tomasik’s work focuses on late medieval and early modern French literature with a particular emphasis on culinary discourses (cookbooks, natural histories, and dietetic treatises). An active professional translator, Professor Tomasik is currently working on a critical edition and translation of the early sixteenth-century morality play, La Condamnation de Banquet.

This talk is co-sponsered by the French and Italian Departments at the University of California, Davis.

contact David Michalski for more information.

Monday, February 12, 2007


CFP: Women and Things: Material Culture, 1750-1950

Call for Proposals for a collection
Women and Things: Material Culture, 1750-1950
Maureen Daly Goggin and Beth Fowkes Tobin, editors

Although the body is both object (for others) and a lived reality (for
the subject), it is never simply object nor simply subject. It is
defined by its relation with objects and in turn defines these objects
as such.
--Maurice Merleau-Ponty

We invite proposals for essays for a collection titled _Women and
Things: Material Culture, 1750-1950_. This collection invites scholars
to consider women's engagement with the material world, from the most
ordinary, mundane daily practices and objects to the most
extraordinary, life-altering practices and objects, over the
two-hundred-year period of 1750 to1950.

Since material culture encompasses all human-made objects, the
possibility of topics is wide open so long as they connect women to
things. Therefore, topics might include, but are certainly not limited
to: fiber arts (needlework, quilting, knitting, crocheting);
decorative arts; other kinds of crafts; painting; sculpture;
scrapbooks; albums; china; porcelain; architecture; interior design;
landscape and
gardening; shopping; clothing; fashion; and food. The focus might be
on all or part of the life-cycle of an object, from design, to
production, to circulation, to consumption, to commodification, to
valuation, to collection and display.

Although scholars in anthropology, museum studies, and decorative arts
have long taken material culture as their focus, in the past twenty
years scholars from other disciplines that have traditionally been
more text-centric have increasingly turned their attention to material
objects in what might be termed the material turn. This edited
collection is designed to serve those scholars. We look forward then
proposals from a wide variety of disciplines, including, but not
limited to, cultural studies, history, literature, rhetoric and
composition, art, art history and art theory, communication studies,
visual design, race studies, and women's studies. We encourage and
wish to present multiple theoretical frames and methodologies that
grapple with questions concerning women and material things.

Please send your 250-500-word proposal and a CV as electronic
attachments in MS-word or RTF format to Beth Fowkes Tobin
and Maureen Daly Goggin <> ) by March 30, 2007.

Beth Fowkes Tobin
Maureen Goggin
Arizona State University

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Eating Cultures: Race and Food


Eating Cultures: Race and Food
Scholars working on the topic “Eating Cultures: Race and Food” collaborated this fall at UCHRI. Proposed and convened by E. Melanie DuPuis, Associate Professor of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz, the residential research group (RRG) is exploring ways in which eating practices intersect with race and social justice. DuPuis’s book Nature’s Perfect Food: How Milk Became America’s Drink (NYU Press, 2002) contains the germination of the topic the group is studying.

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