Sugar production, slave labor to be discussed at Bates

Jessica Harris, a professor at Queens College and an expert in African American foodways, speaks at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives at Bates College, 70 Campus Ave.

Titled Cane Confluences: Sugar and Slaves in the Caribbean and Louisiana, the lecture is sponsored by the Multicultural Center and is open to the public at no cost. For more information, please call 207-786-8376.

Harris is the author of 10 cookbooks exploring foods of the African Diaspora, including Beyond Gumbo: Creole Fusion Food from the Atlantic Rim (Simon & Schuster, 2003) and The African Cookbook (Simon & Schuster, 1998).

Harris teaches English at Queens College and is a former scholar in residence in the Ray Charles Chair in African American Material Culture at Dillard University. She has lectured on African American food traditions at the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Natural History in New York City and at educational institutions around the country and abroad.

As a journalist, Harris has written theater and book reviews and travel articles for a number of publications. She has contributed articles to such food magazines as Gourmet, Cooking Light and Eating Well. She has also contributed to publications documenting African influences on Southern cooking.

Harris has appeared several times on Good Morning America and the Today show, in addition to hosting five episodes of Chef du Jour and serving as resident food historian for Cooking Live Primetime with Sarah Moulton.

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