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October 03, 2006

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

This semester, my colleague Rebekah is teaching a freshman seminar titled Global Food Histories: Tales of Commodities and Cookbooks. The assigned reading for yesterday's class was none other than my second seminar paper, "The Imperial Housewife and the Familial Empire: The Empire Marketing Board's Family Analogy, 1926-1933." I had presented this paper at the "Gender in the Archive" grad student conference back in April, 2005, and Rebekah served as the discussant. Apparently, she thought it was good enough to serve as an example to her students of how to use primary sources. It also helps that I had some really fantastic sources -- posters, advertisements, radio broadcasts, a film, and, of course, recipes. So yesterday Rebekah invited me to make a guest appearance in her class, to tell her students about how I found and used these sources, and to do a workshop with them on reading primary sources. It was a lot of fun. I showed them photographs of the archives I visited in London when I researched the paper during the summer of 2004, and Rebekah and I prepared a packet for them of some of the different kinds of sources, which they then read and interpreted for themselves. It was a lot of fun for me to get to revisit the paper and the sources, and I found myself reading the sources very differently than I did two years ago when I wrote the paper. The students also pointed to things in the sources that I hadn't noticed, and I loved being able to learn from them. It was also pretty fun to be introduced to the class as "the famous author who you read for today"!

Posted by eklanche at October 3, 2006 10:30 AM


Wow. I wish I would have been there to take that class. Could you get me the syllabus?

Posted by: apete at October 6, 2006 01:43 AM

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