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Classes Without Quizzes: Eating the Empire

Classes Without Quizzes: Eating the Empire

Thursday, April 22, 2010

7:00 - 9:00pm

Lower Level of Student Centre

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In this session, we will focus on the growing global trade in foodways in order to highlight the key role of food in the two most significant social transformations of the 19th century. Together, the rise of empires and industrialization shaped the modern world, familiar to us today. We will pay particular attention to the importance of sugar and tea, as key commodities.

Together, the rise of tea and sugar plantations throughout the colonized world led to the amalgamation of vast profits and incredible wealth and the massive migration of slaves and indentured labourers. And, they provided the 'fuel' that allowed wage workers in factories to work harder than ever before.

We will illustrate our lecture with a number of cooking demonstrations. We will prepare, for example, an early recipe that called for sugar, a day's food for a typical 19th century British worker, and the roti familiar to the 19th and 20th century Indian indentured servant labouring on a Caribbean sugar plantation.

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