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Jewish Food in the Global South: A Symposium

March 4 - March 5

This two-day symposium will explore Jewish food in and of the global South, a concept that references the historic diversity of the American South and its vibrant cultural intersections with the nation and the world over time. Appealing to both public and academic audiences, this symposium will feature dynamic presentations by Jewish foodways and cultural scholars, documentarians, culinary critics, and James Beard award-winning chefs. Panel discussions will investigate what makes a food “Jewish” in the diverse social and cultural contexts of our global markets and networks, and how that designation affects the lives of its creators and consumers. Through examination of specific ingredients such as pastrami, iconic dishes such as hummus, and particular cooking traditions that negotiate the laws of kashrut with contemporary aesthetics and nutritional trends, participants will discuss how the distinct social, economic, and political dimensions of different regional cultures, including the American South, determine how Jewish foods are prepared, consumed, and interpreted.

Distinctively, this symposium brings together hands-on cooking demonstrations and food tastings with scholarly conversations about Jewish foodways traditions today. Scholars and chefs will highlight the innovation within contemporary Jewish culinary traditions that perpetuates specific tastes and customs, and that expands an understanding of how Jewish culinary traditions influence, and are influenced by, the larger social, regional, and cultural environments in which they are embedded.

The symposium is suLogo-and-Taglinepported by Jimmy and Susan Pittleman and presented by UNC’s Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, Department of American Studies, Center for Global Initiatives / Global Research Institute, the College of Arts and Sciences and UNC’s FOOD FOR ALL pan-university academic theme.