Julie Kim (English, Fordham)
Thursday, April 1
Dogwood Room, IMU, 4-5:30.
"Tactics of Taste: Food, Alliance, and Resistance in the Early Caribbean"
Food and culinary rituals have played central symbolic roles in imperial ideologies of assimilation and cultural mixing. Nevertheless, descriptions of food in accounts of the colonial Caribbean reveal heated conflicts taking place among Europeans, Africans, and Amerindians over matters of cuisine and consumption. Of course, these groups did have to accommodate each other in order to survive the extreme transformations in daily life and societal structure that characterized emerging plantation regimes. In particular, Africans and Amerindians often had to acquiesce to the appropriation not only of their labor but also of their knowledge of plants, animals, and cuisine. Yet the diverse environments of the Caribbean also provided individuals with modes of resistance—what I am calling tactics of taste—that suggest new ways of understanding and foregrounding the roles played by non-Europeans in the history of the region.