Food, Philosophy and Art in the US and Mexico is a research project funded by the Office of Global Engagement, the department of philosophy, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute.
For this two-day workshop, scholars from Mexico City and Madrid will speak about philosophical and anthropological issues related to the aesthetics of food. Prior to the public workshops, Juan Escalona – a young Mexico City cook and scholar who has worked at Noma, Pujol and Máximo Bistrot – will prepare a meal for invited guests at The National that explores the diversity of Mexican culture. At the workshops, Escalona will talk about that meal and his work with the Mexico City collective Sexto.
The schedule for Day 2 of the workshop is below. Unlike the Day 1 workshop, it will take place in Baldwin Hall, Room 307.
12:35: Juan Escalona (Cook and Sexto Collective, Mexico)
"Mexico's Edible Diversity"
Mexico as a territory is home of more than sixty cultures, each holding different identities, from language to their gastronomy. Drawing on six different courses he will prepare for an evening meal prior to the workshops, Escalona will explore some of the conceptual attributes that identify the basis of this diversity based on the ingredient corn – with chile and spices blended with local ingredients in season.
1:20: Sarah Bak-Geller Corona (Anthropology, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México):
"Edible Politics in Latin America. Cookbooks, Nations and Citizenship, 1830-2022"
This project examines culinary language, specifically that of cookbooks, as a critical element for analyzing, defining, understanding, and contesting the dominant ideas of nationhood and citizenship in Latin America. Recipe books had a pioneering role in forming national identities, becoming a preferred vehicle for expressing political ideas that transcended the world of cooking and produced some of the most consistent, widespread, and lasting images of the nation. Today, cookbooks continue to hold a significant place in the public debate over nationhood and citizenship in Latin America, particularly for countries whose transitions have been toward multicultural and plurinational regimes. In those cases, indigenous recipes have become a resource for ethnic minorities, who have seen in these documents a visible, effective instrument for vindicating and distinguishing them within the nation’s multicultural regimen.