Graduate Student Work-in-Progress – Consuming the Past: Food Metaphors in the Intergenerational Food Memoir

Event Photo
January 30th, 2020

Location: Clark Hall Room 206, 11130 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH 44106

The presence of food metaphors in food memoirs might seem so ubiquitous as to be mundane or cliché. However, the food metaphor’s ability to collapse the physical and temporal boundaries between food and familial ancestors allows memoirists to write their families into their own bodies—and into the present—through food. In this talk, Brita Thielen, PhD candidate in the Department of English, analyzes key food metaphors in three recent food memoirs—A Tiger in the Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan (2011), Licking the Spoon: A Memoir of Food, Family and Identity by Candace Walsh (2012), and The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty (2017)—to demonstrate how food allows these authors to make themselves participants in their family histories rather than simply products of them.

Pre-lecture reception begins at 4:15 pm.