The Department of Philosophy will be conducting on-campus interviews for potential candidates for a tenure-track professor position within the Humanities program. Part of the on-campus interview process will have candidates giving a research presentation that is open to students to attend and provide feedback to the department. Please join us for the research presentation of Dr. Scott Barton, titled " Now You’re Eating Slave Food! A Genealogy of Feijoada, Race, and Nation”
Bahia is the typical cynosure of West African cultural heritage and its influence upon Brazilian popular culture. The legacy of colonial enslavement to the present day has included objectification and fetishization aligned to the traditions of Diaspora religious practice, expressive performativity, exoticized feminine beauty, and idiosyncratic cookery. This essay uses feijoada as a lens between secular and sacred African-Brazilian foodways to analyze questions of cultural and national identity. Within northeastern African-Brazilian culture there are twenty-three dishes shared between sacred and secular realms; to some feijoada is one of them. Foodways practices and commensal traditions act as cultural texts that reflect an inherently idiosyncratic expression of the economics, taste and skill of the producer, and, their knowledge of their intended audience. The quotidian mundanity of food and commensal traditions frequently obscures the value of foodways as a focus for scholarly inquiry. Contained within cooking’s workaday conventions are skills that reflect embodied knowledge, physical coordination, and the knowledge embedded within local experience.
Scott Alves Barton teaches as an Assistant Adjunct Professor at NYU and Queens College. Scott holds a Ph.D. in Food Studies from NYU. He had a 25-year career as an executive chef, restaurant and product development consultant, and culinary educator. Ebony Magazine named Scott one of the Top 25 African American and African Chefs in their first annual Top 25 African-American and African Chef Competition. Scott is a fellow at the Instituto Sacatar, and Fundação Palmares in Brazil, the Tepoztlán Institute for Transnational History of the Americas in Tepoztlán in Mexico and Hortense Spillers’ Issues in Critical Investigation that promotes new African Diasporic scholarship. His research, films and publications focus on the intersection of secular and sacred cuisine as a marker of identity politics, feminine agency, cultural heritage, political resistance, and self-determination in Northeastern Brazil. Some of his recent publications include, At What Price Passion, Food and Foodways and Race, Faith and Cake, Culture and Religion. This year Scott will have two chapters published in forthcoming manuscripts, “Now You’re Eating Slave Food! A Genealogy of Feijoada, Race, and Nation” in The Making of Brazil's Black Mecca: Bahia Reconsidered, edited by Scott Ickes and Bernd Reiter, and “Eu Tenho um Pé na Cozinha: Pu(ting) Your Foot in It,” in Edna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original, edited by Sara B. Franklin. Scott has been featured on PBS’ A Chef’s Life, and serves on the James Beard Foundation Cookbook Awards committee. Among his presentations Scott was selected as the keynote speaker at the United Nations International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade" Honouring the Heroes, Resisters".