Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"I Choose to Sit at the Great National Table": American Cuisine and Identity in the Early Republic
by Mabli, Peter, Ph.D., Drew University, 2019, 349; 13857831
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation reviews the deliberate and evolutionary development of cultural nationalism through food and cuisine, specifically the methods and manners in which Americans during the early Republic conceptualized and produced a distinct national culinary culture. Through multiple forms of evidence including published cookbooks, travelogues, etchings and paintings, nutritional studies, newspaper articles, and essays, Americans and Europeans employed food as a symbolic tool to redefine their definitions of national culture. The production and consumption of certain foodstuffs was indeed an essential component in the process of interpreting the burgeoning American postcolonial national consciousness, often at the expense however of an open and inclusive society. While the current scholarship contends that Americans remained anchored to their colonial British food systems in the early national period, this research reveals a more complicated narrative of identity construction that ultimately highlights a complex ideological and cultural transformation. In short, this work analyzes how intellectual descriptions of American cuisine affected attitudes and perceptions of national character formation in the early American Republic.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rogers, William
Commitee: Boglioli, Marc, Evans, Wyatt
School: Drew University
Department: History and Culture
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 80/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: American studies, American history
Keywords: Cuisine, Early Republic, Food studies, Nationalism
Publication Number: 13857831
ISBN: 978-1-392-12114-6
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