The prevalence of cookbooks, domestic manuals and scenes of food in women's fiction serves as a foundation for exploring questions of national identity and belonging. Marie Drews, Luther College assistant professor of English, will discuss these questions in her lecture, "The World on a Plate: Ambivalent Encounters at the American Table," at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, in the Recital Hall of the Center for Faith and Life on the Luther campus.
This event is the fourth Paideia Texts and Issues Lecture of the 2018-19 series "Journeys and Hospitalities." It is open to the public with no charge for admission and will be followed by a reception in the Qualley Lounge.
Winnifred Eaton, who published under the pseudonym Onoto Watanna, recognized the reach of these food centered texts and expressed this through her writing. While her willingness to cater to the interests of her readers pushed her to reinforce inauthentic representations, her well-traveled characters experienced both discomfort and pleasure as they found new cuisines in unknown places.
Eaton's cookbook, "The Chinese-Japanese Cookbook," published in 1914, was one of the first to bring Asian recipes into American homes. This, along with the various dinner table scenes found in her works of fiction, allow for discussion and consideration of the value of Eaton's complicated culinary legacy in this lecture.
Drews, assistant professor of English at Luther, has received her Ph.D. and Master of Arts in English from Washington State University. Her research focuses on domestic and kitchen narratives in 19th and 20th century American women's writing. She has co-edited "Culinary Aesthetics and Practices in Nineteenth-Century American Literature" with Monika Elbert and is currently working on a project that focuses on Winnifred Eaton's 1923 Western novel, "Cattle."
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.