Jarold Ramsey and Lori Burlingame, eds. In Beauty I Walk: The Literary Roots of Native American Writing. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2008. 6 x 9 pp 395. $27.95 paper.
This anthology of Native American writings compiled by Jarold Ramsey and Lori Burlingame provides a historical background of different types of Native American literature by bringing stories and songs from some of the great Native writers from various tribes together into one comprehensive volume. They collected these works from the memories of tribal groups as well as anthropologists, folklorists, and linguists. Almost all of these works are texts that were translated directly from native performances or linguistically sound transcripts because the authors believed that English retellings took away much of the original intent and therefore did not consider them viable sources. Continue reading “Jarold Ramsey and Lori Burlingame, eds. In Beauty I Walk: The Literary Roots of Native American Writing.”
Beijing Duck 2008: Culinary Tourism, Cultural Performance, and Heritage Protection
Utah State University
During the 2008 Olympic season, two rival restaurants in Beijing saw an opportunity to proclaim their signature dish of Beijing Roast Duck as authentic cultural heritage. Among the strategies they employed to bolster their claims, both restaurants took advantage of new laws to open museums about their duck. Culinary Tourism as developed by Lucy Long and other folklorists provides a useful framework for analyzing this cultural performance.
Continue reading “Beijing Duck 2008: Culinary Tourism, Cultural Performance, and Heritage Protection”
Emily Mendenhall, ed. Global Health Narratives: A Reader for Youth. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2009. Pp. xvii+216, glossary, contributors, line drawings, maps, index. $21.95 paper.
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Global Health Narratives: A Youth Reader has social action at its core, utilizing the personal experience narrative to promote intercultural dialogue and to reveal the realities of how health issues affect youth throughout the world. Inspired by a course on narrative and health at Emory University, Mendenhall’s collection is a starting point for its readers, whether they are sixth-graders, university age, or scholars, to reflect upon their own health experiences. Continue reading “Emily Mendenhall, ed. Global Health Narratives: A Reader for Youth.”
The Snob, the Rube and the Connoisseur: Sideways and the Legitimation of “Culinary Capital”
University of Michigan
In this essay, I analyze the critically-acclaimed 2004 film Sideways and its effect on the U.S. wine industry. I argue that part of the film’s popular appeal was its successful negotiation of two desires that often seem contradictory: the desire to appear sophisticated in the realm of food and drink and the desire to avoid seeming pretentious or be branded a “food snob.” Ultimately, Sideways argues that “good taste,” which functions a form of “cultural capital,” is meritocratic. Like all meritocracies, the “meritocracy of taste” obscures the structural differences that make the tastes and practices constructed as valuable and desirable more accessible to some people. It also enhances the pleasures and rewards of having good taste, by constructing “culinary capital” as the result of talent and effort rather than wealth and privilege. I argue that the “Sideways Effect”—an increase in the demand for and price of Pinot Noir and decrease in the demand for and price of Merlot following the film’s successful showing in theaters—is evidence that the film reinforced exclusive taste hierarchies rather than promoting an inclusive ideology of “good taste.”
Continue reading “The Snob, the Rube and the Connoisseur”