Thursday, April 1, 2010

Gastronomica Rumblings

If you are kicking around Berkeley at noon tomorrow with nothing better to do than think about food and identity in a global context, you should come hear what promises to be a thought- and hunger-provoking discussion with Darra Goldstein, founder and editor of the food and culture journal Gastronomica (not to mention endowed professor of Russian literature at Williams College) in conversation with USC sociologist Barry Glassner. The event is free and will happen in the most frustratingly labyrinthine building on campus, at 3335 Dwinelle Hall (it's on the "C" level--trust me, this information will be useful). Full event info.

The event combines a celebration of Gastronomica's 10th anniversary, crowned by the publication of the Gastronomica Reader, with a series of food talks that UC Berkeley's Institute of European Studies (IES) will host this month. I expect my food horizons to broaden with my summer gig working with the IES to convert Friday's talk, as well as the proceedings of their food studies conference April 30, into materials to be used in local K-12 school curricula. More on the IES events here.

If you're not familiar with Gastronomica, the journal is a gorgeously photographed and designed, densely filled quarterly published by the nonprofit UC Press. Goldstein's careful curation of essays, art, poetry, and journalism maintains an intellectually rigorous approach to food issues as they pertain to culture, politics, history, and the environment while also speaking to the multi-sensory pleasures and simple fun of food. Weird Veg friend Andrew Simmons has a thoughtful account in his post on Friday's event at SFoodie. And just in case you weren't sure, that's kim chee in the Chanel bottle in the upper left cover (Summer 2009 issue; art by Hongtu Zhang).

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