Food scholar presents cultural history of the fork

A lecture series exploring the role of material culture in the humanities and social sciences continues with a cultural history of the fork by Darra Goldstein, founding editor of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture, at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24, in the Keck Classroom (G52), Pettengill Hall, 4 Andrews Road (Alumni Walk).

The lecture is open to the public at no cost. It is sponsored by the Material Culture Working Group, an interdisciplinary team of Bates faculty exploring ways to teach about the roles that material objects play in advancing and resisting cultural hierarchies based on race, class, gender, sexuality and national identity. The effort is supported by theMellon Innovation Fund at Bates.

For more information, please call 207-786-8296 or 207-786-6437.

Goldstein’s talk is titled The Progress of the Fork: From Diabolical to Divine. It will use the evolution of forks over the centuries to trace the progression of manners, exploring how changes in fork design reflect changing ideas about food fashions, proper hygiene and table service.

Goldstein is the Francis Christopher Oakley Third Century Professor of Russian at Williams College and an expert in international cuisines. Gastronomica, the journal of which Goldstein is founding editor, encourages dialogue about the relationship among between food, culture, history and representation. She has also published numerous books and articles on Russian literature, culture and cuisine.

In addition to her scholarly work, Goldstein has authored four cookbooks including A Taste of Russia (Russian Information Services, second revised edition 1999), a finalist for the Tastemaker Award, and The Georgian Feast (University of California Press, 1999) winner of the 1994 IACP Julia Child Award for Cookbook of the Year.

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