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A Mess of Greens: Southern Gender and Southern Food Paperback – September 25, 2011
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Elizabeth Engelhardt brings fresh perspective and insightful arguments to the emergent foodways field. Her work is a model of interdisciplinary accomplishment, drawing on oral histories, community cookbooks, club meeting minutes, and traditional texts alike.(John T. Edge coeditor of The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook)
A Mess of Greens is a landmark text for the study of southern foodways. Engelhardt adds immeasurably to the canon of food studies by bringing the best practices of the discipline of American Studies informed by the analysis of feminist studies.(Marcie Cohen Ferris author of Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South)
Using a rich blend of American Studies and Feminist methodologies Elizabeth Engelhardt’s A Mess of Greens is nothing short of a rich treasure trove of new revelations on Southern foodways. More than just another history of Southern food negotiations and behaviors, however, this study enriches our understanding of the many hidden culinary contours informing life below and beyond the Mason-Dixon line. With this well-researched and informed study Engelhardt nicely adds to the necessarily expanding discussions on the intersections of food, race, gender, class, region and power. That she explores these issues through the lives of moonshiners, biscuit-and-cornbread makers, and tomato club participants makes this book even more fascinating and engaging reading. There is no doubt that in very short order A Mess of Greens will become required reading for not only the academic classroom but also the food connoisseur and enthusiast alike.(Psyche Williams-Forson author of Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food and Power)
A Mess of Greens. . .provides students of American regional culinary traditions in general and Southern cooking in particular with a fine examination of Southern gender and Southern food.(Midwest Book Review)
Engelhardt makes significant progress toward claiming food as a means of studying race, class, gender, and all the facets of southern life that fall under those broad rubrics.(Rebecca Sharpless Journal of Southern History)
What happens between the covers of the book is surprising . . . In the effort to appear objective in scholarship, few are so honest in their motivations for choosing to write about a particular topic, and Engelhardt’s candour about the autobiographical in the scholarly book is refreshing. Nevertheless, Engelhardt’s methodology is all that the history or literary scholar would expect.(Amy L. Tigner Parallax)
Engelhardt makes strong, compelling observations about the centrality of food in the lives of women and southerners.(Katharine Parkin Journal of American History)
Engagingly written and compellingly argued, A Mess of Greens is accessible for general readers, while offering the academic audience a sophisticated analysis of place, food, and gender. This work is an excellent example of the rich possibilities found in food studies, and it makes a significant contribution to women’s, U.S., and southern history.(Monica Peraijes Register of the Kentucky Historical Society)
About the Author
Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt is an associate professor in the Department of American Studies and Center for Womens and Gender Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. She is author or editor of three previous books, most recently Republic of Barbecue: Stories Beyond the Brisket.
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For starters, Elizabeth, get those dull, momentum-killing references out of the text and into footnotes at the back of the book. Banish forever the use of passive and connecting verbs. Employ the power of active verbs. Read Richard Hugo's The Triggering Town. Then let's talk.