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Tasting the Renaissance: Food Culture and the Literary Imagination in Sixteenth-Century Italy

Tasting the Renaissance: Food Culture and the Literary Imagination in Sixteenth-Century Italy
100 St. Joseph Street, Carr Hall room 404
Time: Mar 5th, 4:00 pm End: Mar 5th, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: Women/Gender, Religion, Study of (FAS), Philosophy (FAS), Medicine, Faculty of , Italian Studies (FAS), History (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), Food Studies, Comparative Literature (FAS), 1500-1800
Lecture by Laura Giannetti, University of Miami

Prof. Salvatore Bancheri, Emilio Goggio Chair in Italian Studies, cordially invites you to a public lecture

Laura Giannetti, University of Miami
Tasting the Renaissance: Food Culture and the Literary Imagination in Sixteenth-Century Italy

Thursday, March 5, 2015
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Carr Hall 404
100 St. Joseph Street
University of Toronto
A reception to follow. Everyone is welcome and admission is free. Please RSVP at italian.studies@utoronto.ca
What did literature and the culture of food share in sixteenth-century Italy?  Previous studies privilege the point of view of high literature and the study of single works, where food images and language metaphors abound to explore the connections between food and political power, food and philosophical theories and/or to make a commentary on the poetics of individual authors. This approach remains one-sided, focusing almost solely on the way in which the culture of food had an impact on the writing of high literature.
Instead this paper argues for the existence of a circular exchange of knowledge between various cultures of food and the literary imagination of sixteenth-century Italy.  In other words the realm of literature – in a broader sense – and food culture are not separate worlds. Food culture brought into literature new vistas on sexuality, gender, medicine, religion, and class.  On the other hand, literature used the various discussions of food circulating at the time, not only as a source for representations of an upside-down world, humor and lascivious topics, but as an imaginative way to rethink the contemporary world, to criticize humanist culture, patriarchal, sexual and gender hierarchies. I will concentrate today on a number of significant examples illuminating the ‘marriage made in the kitchen’ between literature and food culture in Renaissance Italy. 
Laura Giannetti is an Associate Professor of Italian at the University of Miami. Her first book titled Lelia’s Kiss: Imagining Gender, Sex and Marriage in Italian Renaissance Comedy was published by Toronto University Press in 2009.  On her new project Food Culture and the Literary Imagination in Renaissance Italy, she has published several articles in edited volumes and leading journals such as California Italian Studies and Quaderni d’Italianistica. She has won several awards, including the Villa I Tatti- Harvard University Fellowship in 2008-2009.

This event is free and open to all, but an RSVP is requested.  To RSVP, and for further information, please contact the Department of Italian Studies at (416) 926-2345.

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