Food nourishes our bodies but also functions as a symbol of multiple and often overlapping identities. As Claude Fischler (1988) states: “The way any given human group eats helps to assert its diversity [and] hierarchy…and at the same time, both its oneness and the otherness of whoever eats differently” (275). This talk examines the role of food in constructing Southern identities. It focuses on the ways that African foods and cooking techniques influenced what is often classified as “southern” food, and more specifically, “soul food.” It will pay particular attention to the role of Gullah-Geechee in shaping these cuisines.
Dr. Gillian Richards-Greaves is Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and Geography and Assistant Director of the Charles Joyner Institute for Gullah and African Diaspora Studies at Coastal Carolina University.