This symposium, sponsored by the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, will explore the historical trends and current cultural practices surrounding Jewish food in and of the American South. Appealing to both public and academic audiences, this symposium will feature dynamic presentations by Jewish foodways and cultural scholars, culinary critics, and James Beard award-winning chefs. Panel discussions will investigate what makes a food “Jewish” in the diverse social and cultural contexts of the United States, and how that designation affects the lives of its creators and consumers. Through examination of specific ingredients such as pastrami, iconic foods such as the knish and hummus, and particular cooking traditions that negotiate the laws of kashrut, participants will discuss how the distinct social, economic, and political dimensions of different regional cultures determine how Jewish foods are prepared, eaten, and interpreted, particularly in the context of the Jewish South.
Pre-registration is required for this symposium. Tickets cost $10 but are free for UNC students. Registration includes lunch, evening reception and morning and afternoon breaks. You can view the entire program here and purchase tickets here.
Join us in the Hitchcock Room at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center as we welcome Monique Truong back to the Old North State. Her lecture is titled “Writing Plenty / Writing Hunger / Writing North Carolina.” The talk will begin with Truong’s first meal in the U.S., eaten in a refugee relocation camp in 1975, and will explore the “magical thinking” relationship that she formed toward food during her girlhood in Boiling Springs, NC.
Born in Saigon, South Vietnam in 1968, Monique Truong is a novelist and essayist based in Brooklyn. She is the author of the national bestseller The Book of Salt (2003) and Bitter in the Mouth (2010). Her novel The Sweetest Fruits is forthcoming from Viking Books. Translated into 14 languages, her novels have garnered her a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, among other honors. She is currently the Harman Writer-in-Residence at Baruch College, CUNY. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia University School of Law, Truong is also an intellectual property attorney.
She is also a contributor to the forthcoming 21C Fiction Issue of Southern Cultures, which you can preview here.
This lecture is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program, the Department of English and Comparative Literature, the Carolina Asia Center, the Center for Global Initiatives, the Institute for Arts and Humanities, the Food For All campus theme, and Southern Cultures, as well as UNC Libraries’ North Carolina Collection and Southern Historical Collection.