Okay, sorry it took me a while to get back to the thread. I've been having to register and reregister and deal with a lot of administrative bs, (while still looking for a car.) Good news though! I will be able to graduate a semester earlier than I anticipated! :yippie:
Back to the meat of the thread though. The schedule that my prof came up with is theory heavy in the front. Another text on autobiography was part of the list that I didn't bother y'all with. We are getting that out of the way first, then on to Maya. I don't think anyone expressed interest in that one, so I'll spare you that, unless anyone objects. After that the sched is as follows:
Bento Box by 9/21
My Life in France by 9/30
Julie and Julia by 10/16
Barefoot Heart by 10/28
These are my due dates, to do what you will with. I will have read them by then, and I will provide discussion points as the prof does.
The suplementals that we are reading right now are really interesting. We read the first chapter of The Recipe Reader: Narratives, Contexts, Traditions By Janet Floyd, Laurel Forster
(which is on GoogleBooks! Free! Thank God!) and the class discussed it Wednesday. Some of what we discussed:
Do recipes in the cultural context act as a contraint for women, regulating and perscribing social mores and convention, or to they act as a means of personal expression, allowing women to invent and control in their sphere of influance?
I think that overtime recipes can stand as a litmus test for women's roles. Looking back at my older recipe books I can see the expectation that were placed on women. The long and laborious recipes, instructions on how to present the food, emphasis on making it from scratch ect. Whereas today we have a totally different roles for women, and different expectations. Women are working, they have other duties outside the home, and as a result we have many books on 30 min meals and semi home made. I don't think that this is to regulate at all, I think that the recipes reflect the roles of women but do not serve as a contraint at all.
I do think that the "expressive potential" is great. I think all of us tweak recipes and riff on the ingredients to customize them to our palettes and pantries. I know I have secret ingredients that I am proud of, and special recipes that I have made my own. It is a form of art and expression.
How does the debate over "authenticity" and "orginality" in recipes relate to women?
I think that the authenticity proponents do try to regulate women's expression in a way, while the originality arguments encourage creativity. That being said, I have my horror of some recipes that just seem wrong to me. (ie "Beans in my chili? GTFO!") I am wondering if this is an extension of my own feelings about my food, my recipe is better than others, or is there a kind of glass ceiling in terms of food? I can create, but I want to keep others down? (I will have to think further about this.)
Are recipe variations/sharing a form of plagiarism?
This is a biggie. I think that recipe sharing is not at all a form of plagiarism. It is a cultural discussion that goes on. And as the recipes move they change, and evolve based on the locale and the people eating the food. This is why we have so many variations in food. I think of it like song. Two people can sing a song in very different ways, even though the mechanics are the same.
Do recipes create a "imaginary communities?"
This is the topic I wanted to talk to you all about the most. In some ways the cookbook has served as a replacement for the matriachal teaching in the kitchen of yester-year. Shared recipes, and books, do create different ways in which we look at food, and their are camps that evolve. The Martha folks in one camp, the Rachel Ray folks in another, is one way to look at it. The Whole foods people vs. the Semi-home made contingient.
You guys are a real community to me, and I participate in a lot of online recipe swaping boards where we share tips and tricks. Is this textual recipe sharing an evolution in the nature of recipes? What do you see happening in the future as women have this meta-recipe dialouge going on rather than a simple book? Is the imaginary community, as Forster and Flyod describes it, becoming a real one?
Okay that is all the food for though I have right now. Excuse the typos, I am in a rush for my next class, but I didn't want to leave you hanging.