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The Slap Slap Motion of the Tortilla: Taste and Race in the American Southwest in the New Deal Era

The Slap Slap Motion of the Tortilla: Taste and Race in the American Southwest in the New Deal Era
1 Devonshire Place, Room 208N
Time: Oct 26th, 4:00 pm End: Oct 26th, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: Women & Gender Studies (FAS), United States Studies, Sociology (FAS), Political Science, Latin American, Information, Faculty of, History (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Anthropology (UTM), Anthropology (FAS), 1900-1950
Graduate paper by Camille Begin

The Centre for the Study of the United States and the CSUS Graduate Student Workshop are pleased to present:
Camille Bégin
“The Slap Slap Motion of the Tortilla”: Taste and Race in the American Southwest in the New Deal Era

This paper explores the food of the American Southwest in the 1930s, and uses the methodology of sensory history to analyze the ways in which race contributed to the taste of place in this modern American region. This sensory narrative draws on a close reading of the Federal Writers’ Project’s (FWP) popular guidebooks as well as the archive of the America Eats book project. The FWP participated in a process of sensory heritage-making that animated the region’s developing tourism industry. Mexican food was not only entrenched in a local creolized sensory identity, but also part of a tourist sensory economy that required and constructed an authentic perception of another race. Exploring the interplay of taste, place, race, and gender in the FWP’s archive allows a deeper and contextualized understanding of how the senses contribute to the making of race.

Camille Bégin is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on cultural history, sensory history, and material culture. Her dissertation is a study of the records of the Federal Writers’ Project, especially the America Eats book project. Bégin’s article, “To partake of choice poultry cooked a la southern style: Taste and Race in the New Deal Sensory Economy,” is included in the Spring 2011 issue of the Radical History Review entitled “Radical Food.” Before relocating to Toronto, Begin earned her MA from the University Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne’s Centre de Recherche d`Histoire Nord Américaine.

This event is free, but registration is required.  To register, click HERE

For further information, please contact the Centre for the Study of the United States at (416) 946-8972

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