Food on the Move: Gendered Representation, Cultural Sustainability, and Culinary Practices of Gullah Women
White, Katie M.
Bolles, Augusta Lynn
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Food on the Move: Gendered Representation, Cultural Sustainability, and Culinary Practices of Gullah Women connects Gullah women and foodways with processes of migration, cultural heritage, sustainability, and memory. Drawing on women’s studies, history, anthropology, literature, film, and food studies, this interdisciplinary project looks at the preparation and presentation of food as an integral part of a sustained Gullah culture. Using Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust alongside contemporary imaginaries of the senses, the work discusses how movement of peoples into and out of the Sea Islands of South Carolina complicates the relationship between the sensory, particularly taste, memory and home. Most importantly, through food-centered stories combined with analyses of cookbooks and other culinary notations, this dissertation examines the vital role women have played in maintaining Gullah culinary history and the dissemination and sustenance of Gullah culture. It enhances not only our understanding of Gullah culture but also of the processes of social and cultural changes necessary to sustain it. This work argues that the Gullah Geechee National Heritage Corridor is a critical site for cultural sustainability particularly in regard to food. Food becomes a site for mapping the traditions, pressures, changes, adaptations, and resistances within a particular racial-ethnic community as it encounters dominant cultures, as well as a site of creativity, pleasure, and survival.