DUNWOODY, Ga. — Just about everything in life — from politics to social class — intersects with food, according to Georgia State University English professor Gina Flowers.
The overlaps are so intriguing to Flowers, she will focus on them during an interactive discussion she’ll lead on Wednesday, Feb. 21, as part of the Sarah Larson Lecture Series. The discussion is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m. at Georgia State’s Dunwoody Campus auditorium, NC building, room 1100. The Dunwoody Campus is at 2101 Womack Road.
“You Are What You Eat: Food and the American Identity” will explore food and its political, socio-economic, environmental and regional effects on communities throughout America.
“Food has a larger impact on your life than you think,” Flowers said. “It’s more than just sustenance. It has many implications.”
For example, Flowers recalls the treatment given the King and Queen of England when they were hosted by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor, during a 1939 trip to the United States.
“Instead of serving them a grand White House dinner, President Roosevelt took the King and Queen out for a picnic at Hyde Park and served them hotdogs,” Flowers said. “The whole purpose was to create, through the casual food, a more relaxed environment where they could have a productive, down-to-earth political conversation about the role each country would play as Europe sat on the brink of World War II.”
Flowers’ lecture will highlight other colorful instances of how food has been and continues to be used as a source of political power, particularly for women. The Perimeter College professor’s lecture also will highlight the history behind some of America’s favorite regional foods, such as Hot Chicken, low country boil, New York vs. Chicago pizza, and Rocky Mountain oysters.
Attendees are encouraged to bring their cell phones so they can participate in a game-show-themed part of the presentation. Flowers will show guests how to turn their phones into clickers they can use to answer food-related questions she poses.
As an added treat, Flowers will discuss the military history of M&M candies and then pass out bags of the popular confection as guests depart.
Hosted by the Perimeter College Sarah Larson Lecture Series, “You Are What You Eat” is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Ryan Lake at [email protected] or 770-274-5475.