Elizabeth S.D. Engelhardt

This author appeared at the 2011 festival. Please view the list of authors appearing at this year's festival or see our suggestions for similar authors below.

Elizabeth S.D.  Engelhardt at the 2011  Texas Book Festival

Combining the study of food culture with gender studies and using perspectives from historical, literary, environmental, and American studies, Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt examines what Southern women’s choices about food tell us about race, class, gender, and social power. Shaken by the legacies of Reconstruction and the turmoil of the Jim Crow era, different races and classes came together in the kitchen, often as servants and mistresses but also as people with shared tastes and traditions. Generally focused on elite whites or poor blacks, Southern foodways are often portrayed as stable and unchanging – even as an untroubled source of nostalgia. Engelhardt’s A Mess of Greens: Southern Gender and Southern Food offers a different perspective, taking into account industrialization, environmental degradation, and women’s increased role in the work force, all of which caused massive economic and social changes. Engelhardt reveals a broad middle of Southerners that included poor whites, farm families, and middle- and working-class African Americans, for whom the stakes of what counted as Southern food were very high. Engelhardt writes about Southern food, gender, and culture as an associate professor of American Studies at the University of Texas. Lead author of Republic of Barbecue: Stories Beyond the Brisket, she is a founding member of Foodways Texas and a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance.

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