In the past just like today, eating and drinking were basic human needs, but also social activities and an expression of collective and individual identities. As dietary rules and festive traditions show, food and drink were charged with deeply symbolic and often religious meaning. Medical treatments reveal the connections between nutrition, the body, and the senses. The availability, production, and consumption of foodstuffs mirror power dynamics and economic relationships. During the early modern period in particular, increasing global interaction, colonization, and enslavement affected cooking and eating habits. This seminar explores early modern foodways from a transcultural perspective. We will investigate how culinary practices evolved, were shaped by, and in turn shaped cultural encounters, transfers, and entanglements as well as conflicts and divisions.

Semester: SuTerm 2022