Monday, March 2, 2009

Gimon visiting scholar - Bertie Mandelblatt

I’m very pleased to welcome Bertie Mandelblatt, a Postdoctoral Fellow (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Université de Montréal) whose current project examines the Atlantic exchange networks in the molasses and rum produced in the French Antilles during the Ancien régime.

This project expands her doctoral research focus on the production, exchange and consumption of commodities in the French Atlantic. Her dissertation (University of London, 2008), entitled "Feeding the French Atlantic: Colonial Food Provisioning Networks in the Franco-Caribbean during the Ancien regime," analyzes patterns in both transatlantic and local food provisioning to the colonial, largely slave populations of the Franco-Caribbean, as well as in its consumption during the reigns of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI." It reconceptualizes the slave subject as a consumer, as well as a commodity and producer of commodities, whose collective economic effect were felt throughout the Atlantic world. In so doing, it stresses connections and exchanges between the sites of the French Atlantic, reconsidering definitions of 'centre' and 'periphery.'

Bertie will be here at Stanford until March 14, and I hope that many of you will be able to meet her and learn more about her fascinating topic. She will be presenting her work at the March 12 meeting of the Culinary Historians of Northern California; I will be sending out more information about this event in the next few days.

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Sarah Sussman, curator of French and Italian Collections