Get Yer Food, Science, and Nature Ya-Yas Out

Now that summer draws near, I have ambitions to read the works listed below the fold. True, I put them here so I can keep track of them. Because I get confused and lose things a lot. But I also put them here to offer a mini bibliography on the themes (some related, some not) of Food, Environmental, and Science Studies.

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Summer's Plan

(from Kimberly Applegate)

Breathing Space: How Allergies Shape Our Lives and Landscapes, by Gregg Mitman (2007). This book sits at the intersection of environmental history and the history of science and medicine.

Fruits and Plains: The Horticultural Transformation of America, by Philip Pauly (2007). This book is also at the intersection of environmental history and the history of science, but brings grief with it--Pauly, a professor at Rutgers and someone I didn't have the chance to meet, recently passed away at the age of 57.

Kitchen Literacy: How We Lost Knowledge of Where Food Comes From and Why We Need To Get It Back, by Ann Vileisis (2008). It's new. It's about food and knowledge. It's by an independent scholar/freelance writer.

Food Nations: Selling Taste in Consumer Societies, edited by Warren Belasco and Phil Scranton (2001). I read parts of this a few years ago but am now coming back to it. It's a collection of essays in this sub-field called Food Studies.

The Landscape of Reform: Civic Pragmatism and Environmental Thought in America, by Ben Minteer (2006). This is a work in environmental philosophy (Minteer is a pragmatist philosopher), but also environmental history and politics. It's about a third ethical way beyond narrowly anthropocentric and ecocentric approaches, and discusses Liberty Hyde Bailey, Lewis Mumford, Benton Mackaye, and Aldo Leopold.

Together at the Table: Sustainability and Sustenance in the American Agrifood Business, by Patricia Allen (2004). Fine, you got me. I forget where I saw this. It must've been in someone's footnotes.

Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took on the Food Industry, 1966-1988, by Warren Belasco (1990). I read Belasco's Meals to Come last year and, as you already see, am planning to read his co-edited Food Nations this summer too. Meals to Come is quite easily the best book I've read in a few years, so I look forward to catching up on one I should've read a while ago. (Meals to Come will also be the subject of a future installment of the WF's author-meets-bloggers forum.)

Revolution at the Table: The Transformation of the American Diet, by Harvey Levenstein (1988). Again: I should've already read this.

Whitebread Protestants: Food and Religion in American Culture, by Daniel Sack (2000). Lots of good stuff, and some on crazy Progressive Era nutritionists like Kellogg and Post and Graham (he of the eponymous cracker). Plus more, I'm told. We'll see.

Agrarian Dreams: The Paradox of Organic Farming in California, by Julie Guthman (2004). I've read and learned much from several articles by Guthman and, a few years ago, had read the intro to this book too. Time to return to it.

Black Earth and Ivory Tower: New American Essays from Farm and Classroom, edited by Zachary Jack (2005). I've used one of the essays in this collection before, but haven't taken the time to read the rest. Now's the time. I hope it might help with some community-based work I'm doing this Fall.

The New Agrarianism: Land, Culture, and the Community of Life, edited by Eric Freyfogle (2001). This is a collection of previously published essays by the likes of Wendell Berry, David Orr, Donald Worster, and more.

Environmental Citizenship, edited by Andrew Dobson and Derek Bell (2006). A solid collection of essays on what environmental citizenship is, who is arguing about it, how you get it, what's at stake, and so forth.

Alternative Food Geographies: Representation and Practice, edited by Damian Maye, Lewis Holloway, and Moya Kneafsey (2007). This too is a very rich collection of essays. It is theoretically rich and not all too accessible to general readers, which is surprising me as I begin it, but chock full of case studies from around the world (though it appears the book has a strong British grounding, at least in terms of its authors).

Barbaric Intercourse: Caricature and the Culture of Conduct, 1841-1936, by Martha Banta (2003). A study of periodical-based satire by an American Studies scholar, this one will help me get my next project going even though by all outward appearances it does not fit the categories above.

Landscape and Memory, by Simon Schama (1995). I've wanted to read this for a long time. Doesn't fit the categories at the top either. Let's not fuss over it.

Nor does Jim the Boy, by Tony Earley, which I've also wanted to read for a while.

Or Jumpa Lahiri's new one, Unaccustomed Earth. Or Joshua Ferris's Then We Came to the End.

All on the docket for an Olympian summer. What do you figure? Maybe I get 50%?


More like this

Looks great - the one's I've read I've liked, and the others I'd like to read. Will you be blogging your reading experience here? Cuz I'd like to read that.

By Marichiweu (not verified) on 22 May 2008 #permalink