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Flyer describing Spring 2023 events

Please find a listing of some of our Spring Events, below, including key partner events. We would love to have you join us. 


Thursday 2/2, 1-2pm: Campus Kitchen and the Market of VT: Food Recovery & Food Security

Campus Kitchen increases food access and  reduces food waste by redirecting unserved food from on-campus dining centers to local hunger relief agencies. The new Market of Virginia Tech provides food assistance to students who have a hard time obtaining regular, healthy meals. Come learn about both and ways to get involved in campus food security efforts! We'll hear from Izzy Largen, Assistant Director for Food Access Initiatives at VT Engage, and Aislinn Guinee, Campus Kitchen Graduate Assistant. Register for this Zoom session:

Thursday 2/23, 4-5pm: "US History in 10" - VT Humanities Week

How might we see history differently if we looked at it through new lenses? In this panel as part of VT Humanities Week, four presenters will each share 10 slides in 10 minutes, telling stories of foods, wild animals, condiments, and technological workers that can make us rethink US History and the people, foods, and environments of which it is comprised. The talks will be engaging, fast-paced, and accessible entry-points for anyone to think about our past in new ways. Theme-appropriate refreshments will be served. Newman Library Rm. 101S, VT-Blacksburg Campus.

Monday 2/27, 7-8:30pm: Author talk on "US History in 15 Foods" with Anna Zeide 

Join Blacksburg Books and Food Studies Director Anna Zeide to hear about her new book US History in 15 Foods. From whiskey in the American Revolution to Spam in WWII, food reveals a great deal about the society in which it exists. Selecting 15 foods that represent key moments in the history of the United States, this book takes readers from before European colonization to the present, narrating major turning points along the way, with food as a guide. A selection of the 15 foods will be available as refreshments!  Blacksburg Books, 401 S Main St Suite 106, Blacksburg, VA 24060. 


Tuesday 3/21, 5-6pm: “A Pickle Problem: The Deli Revival and American Jewish Religion”

Prof. Rachel Beth Gross (San Francisco State University), a former faculty member in the Department of Religion and Culture at Virginia Tech, will be talking from her new book Beyond the Synagogue: Jewish Nostalgia as Religious Practice and the everyday ways that memory and place engage what we call “religion.” All are welcome. 129 McBryde Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24060.

Thursday 3/30, 11am-12:15pm: Leni Sorensen Public Lecture -- "It Takes the World to Make a Meal: Dinner at Cawson’s 1796"

The first of a series of events with acclaimed Black culinary historian, Leni Sorensen, who has been a curator at Monticello, stages historical dinners at her Indigo House, was featured in Netflix's High on the Hog, and was profiled in this recent New York Times piece. (Squires, Brush Mountain A). In this public lecture, she will explored the meals--and the enslaved people who performed the labor, cooking and serving--at a late 18th-century Virginia plantation as a way to illustrate eating traditions and to highlight the lives of the enslaved people who, at all levels of production, made them possible. Squires Student Center, Room: Brush Mountain A, 290 College Ave., Blacksburg, VA 24060.

Thursday 3/30, 7-8:30pm: "Tasting African American Food History: The Antebellum Roots of Chef Edna Lewis's Desserts, with Dr. Leni Sorensen”

In this pay-what-you-want ticketed event with acclaimed Black culinary historian Leni Sorensen, enjoy a dessert course featuring Chef Edna Lewis's bread pudding, prepared by Food Studies students, and with commentary from Dr. Sorensen. Edna Lewis was a renowned American chef, teacher, and author who helped refine the American view of Southern cooking, making the case for black Southern cooking as the foundation of our national cuisine. All proceeds support the Food Studies program's student initiatives. Reserve your tickets here: And if you are a student who would like to cook with Dr. Sorensen and volunteer for the event, please sign up hereWallace Atrium, Wallace Hall,  295 West Campus Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060. 

Friday 3/31, 4:45 pm: "Reading Between the Lines: Finding Real Life in Original Documents," Dr. Leni Sorensen

As part of the 26th annual Brian Bertoti Innovative Perspectives in History Graduate Research Conference, Dr. Leni Sorenson will deliver the keynote address on Friday, March 31.  She owns a farmstead devoted to teaching the public about culinary history, historical meals, and effective home provisioning techniques. As a food historian, she researches a wide variety of topics varying from the lives of Black cooks, with a particular emphasis on the American Colonial period and the early nineteenth century, contemporary culinary practices, gardening, and animal processing. Hahn Garden Pavilion, 200 Garden Ln, Blacksburg, VA 24061.


Saturday 4/1, 12:30-1:45pm: "Stirring the Pot: Race, Slavery, and Food," Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz

As part of the 26th annual Brian Bertoti Innovative Perspectives in History Graduate Research Conference, Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz will deliver the luncheon address on Saturday, April 1. She is currently the Vice President of Collections and Public Engagement at Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County, Virginia. She is a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley where she specializes in African American and African Diaspora Studies. Her 2017 book Bound to the Fire: How Virginia’s Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine used archaeological evidence, cookbooks, plantation records, and folklore to focus on the lives of enslaved plantation cooks from colonial times through emancipation and beyond. Graduate Life Center Multipurpose Room, 155 Otey St, Blacksburg, VA 24060

Thursday, 4/13, 12:30pm: Food, gender, and identity in a global context: An interdisciplinary conversation with Nina Mukerjee Furstenau

This Women and Gender in Development Discussion Series event will be hosted in a panel format featuring Nina Mukerjee Furstenau and four faculty members from different divisions of Virginia Tech as panelists, Ozzie Abaye, Maria Elisa Christie, Kim Niewolny, and Anna Zeide. The guest speaker and panelists will facilitate a discussion on the relationship between food and food preparation on one hand, and gender and cultural identity on the other. Nina Mukerjee Furstenau is a journalist, author, and editor of the FoodStory book series for the University of Iowa Press. She was a Fulbright Global research scholar (2018-19), is on the board of directors for Media for Change, and has won the MFK Fisher Book Award, the Grand Prize Award for Culture/Culinary Writing from Les Dames d'Escoffier International, a Kansas Notable Book award, and more. Register for the event here. Newman Library Multipurpose Room (first floor, Room 101), 560 Drillfield Dr., Blacksburg, VA 24060 and Zoom.


 Tuesday, 5/2, 11am-12:15pm: Intro to Food Studies Student Project Showcase

Join the inaugural class of Introduction to Food Studies to see their final project showcase, featuring a range of foods or dishes in historical, social, ethical, and scientific contexts. We'll have a series of tastings and exhibits on display for anyone to browse and engage with. Come support our students! Newman Library Rm. 207A, 560 Drillfield Dr., Blacksburg, VA 24060. 

Contact Anna Zeide with input or proposals for future events.

Learn more about our past events since Spring 2021 here

Check out our social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook, and Instagram @VTFoodStudies for posts about other food studies-related virtual events.