Why are foodways important?

Foodways is the study of what people eat and why. Why we procure, prepare and serve the food we do has cultural, sociological, geographical, financial and political influences.



Why is recognition of diverse foodways valuable?

Preserving our past and present for the future by research, documentation and oral histories. It is culinary anthropology on the hoof, paw, root and leaf.



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Call for Presentations

Midwest Eats!
Foodways of the Great Depression


APRIL 29, 30 & MAY 1, 2011
Kendall College, Chicago, Illinois



Call for Presentations:



Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance celebrates preserves and promotes the diverse food cultures of the American Midwest from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains. Our fourth symposium examines culture and foodways of the Great Depression from about 1929 to 1941.  This symposium includes lectures, audience participation, food samplings, silent auction, book signings and tours.  We seek presentations based on research, fieldwork, scholarship and professional experience, though geared to an informed popular audience.


Proposals may consider: positive aspects of life, home gardens, meatless recipes, stretching the grocery dollars, restaurant businesses, food company history, World’s Fair foods, farms and farming, food advertising, farm bureaus, or other topics pertinent to the times. Some ideas to consider include:


1. Making Do in the Hard Times Kitchen: Continuity of traditions and how people adapted them during the Depression. Illustrate how imaginative home cooks, thriving food companies, and resourceful restaurants survived by s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g food costs through those trying times. 


2. Rural foodways during the Great Depression: how they survived and often helped their city cousins.


3. Old and New: ingenuity and production in the pre-World War II era.
4. High and Low Dining during the Great Depression.  Here we can explore high class and low class restaurants, from French cuisine to greasy spoons.


5. Food in Popular Culture. An example might be “Our Man Godfrey,” a famous comedy about a rich family compared to homeless people and it also refers also to the end of Prohibition.
6. Food and travel writing during the Great Depression:  cookbooks, authors, newspaper columns, radio advice, manufacturers' pamphlets, WPA and more good stuff.


7. Surprise us with unexpected knowledge on Depression foodways and culture.


Proposals should be one page in length and contain the following:
• Name of the presenter along with two professional references concerning presentation skills and qualifications-just names will do;


• Title or theme of the presentation;


• Brief description of the subject matter to be discussed;


• Please anticipate a presentation length of 20 minutes with extra time allowed for questions.


• Your preferred presentation format, i.e., interactive lecture, panel discussion, group presentation.


Proposals should be electronically submitted no later than January 15, 2011 to [email protected]; to Catherine Lambrecht.   For more information, please contact Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance, 280 Laurel Avenue, Highland Park, IL  60035-2620 or Tel: 847/432-8255.  For background information, read about Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance at www.GreaterMidwestFoodways.com.


Note: Programs are recorded for broadcast on demand by Chicago Public Radio.