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Consumption and the Literary Cookbook, edited by Roxanne Harde and Janet Wesselius (published 2021 by Routledge) examines the ways in which recipe authors and readers engage with one another through reading, cooking and eating the foods contained within the pages of Literary Cookbooks. The editors define literary cookbooks as novels and memoirs that include recipes, cookbooks that include narrative, and children's books that include recipes. Divided into three parts– “Textual Consumption,” “Consumption and Community,” and “Cultural Consumption”– the collection explores a diverse cross section of cooking literature and food culture from nineteenth century manuscript cookbooks to cookbooks built on the narratives of childhood classics Alice in Wonderland and Anne of Green Gables. Through this assortment of historical documents and cultural touchstones, Harde and Wesselius and their contributors work to convince scholars of literature and food studies that literary cookbooks offer unique insight into the era, society, and region they represent. The collection creates a foundation for an in-depth study of consumption as it pertains to the intellectual consumption of information, emotional connection and release through empathetic consumption, and of course, the physical consumption of the edible results of the recipes contained within each book. Ardent cooks and cookbook consumers, Harde and Wesselius hope that this collection will liberate literary cookbooks from kitchen shelves and incorporate them into both literature and food studies as important tools for understanding culture and society.
Roxanne Harde is Professor of English at the University of Alberta's Augustana campus where she also serves as Chair of Department of Fine Arts and humanities. A Fullbright Scholar, Roxanne researches and teaches American literature and culture focusing on American women writers, children's literature, and popular culture. Find her on Twitter @ProfessorRoxy.
Janet Wesselius is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alberta's Augustana campus. In addition to her work in feminist epistemology, she has published on philosophy and children’s literature.
Eliza Weeks is a recent graduate of the Master of Food Studies program at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. She hopes to do work related to amplifying diverse and often marginalized voices within the food system so that the opportunity to represent and share food and food culture is not limited to the privileged few. When Eliza is not on the job hunt she enjoys adventuring through new recipes, sharing food and stories with others, and cohosting her podcast Dear Human.
Carrie Helms Tippen is Assistant Professor of English at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she teaches courses in American Literature. Her 2018 book, Inventing Authenticity: How Cookbook Writers Redefine Southern Identity (University of Arkansas Press), examines the rhetorical strategies that writers use to prove the authenticity of their recipes in the narrative headnotes of contemporary cookbooks. Her academic work has been published in Gastronomica, Food and Foodways, American Studies, Southern Quarterly, and Food, Culture, and Society.
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