Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Book Launch • Shanti Morell-Hart • Mesquite Pods to Mezcal: 10,000 Years of Oaxacan Cuisines

Mesquite Pods to Mezcal Shanti Morell-Hart

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

6:00-7:00 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum (155), 111 Thayer

Reception to follow.

About the Event
This book launch event will feature Shanti Morell-Hart (Anthropology) in conversation with Gerónimo Barrera de la Torre (Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies) and Paja Faudree (Anthropology). They will be discussing Prof. Morell-Hart's newly released, co-edited book Mesquite Pods to Mezcal: 10,000 Years of Oaxacan Cuisines (University of Texas Press, 2024).

About the Book
Among the richest culinary traditions in Mexico are those of the “eight regions" of the state of Oaxaca. Mesquite Pods to Mezcal brings together some of the most prominent scholars in Oaxacan archaeology and related fields to explore the evolution of the area's world-renowned cuisines. This volume, the first to address food practices across Oaxaca through a long-term historical lens, covers the full spectrum of human occupation in Oaxaca, from the early Holocene to contemporary times. Contributors consider the deep history of agroecological management and large-scale landscape transformation, framing food production as a human-environment relation. They explore how, after the arrival of the Spanish, Oaxacan cuisine adapted, diets changed, and food became a stronger marker of identity. Examining the present, further studies document how traditional foodways persist and what they mean for contemporary Oaxacans, whether they are traveling ancient roads, working outside the region, or rebuilding after an earthquake. Together, the original case studies in this volume demonstrate how new methods and diverse theoretical approaches can come together to trace the development of a rich food tradition, one that is thriving today.

About the Speaker
Shanti Morell-Hart, Associate Professor of Anthropology

About the Panelists
Gerónimo Barrera de la Torre, Postdoctoral Fellow, The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Paja Faudree, Associate Professor of Anthropology