This is the beginning of my series on “Heavy Things” usually related to Sociology of Food, what I am reading or writing.
So yesterday was my end of the semester lunch with the other sociologists in my department at Rileys. I chose the spot because it’s one of my favorites and seemed like a good place to discuss heavy things such as conferences and our ongoing research projects. For me this included food blogging, a book review, taking students to Paris for my fall diversity class, and considering a Sociology of food panel at the Eastern Sociological Society in 2014. But the most interesting thing that lunch raised wasn’t what we were eating or doing, but what we weren’t doing. I mentioned that when I read for pleasure, it tends to be fiction and as I sat down to write this blog I realized this summer I’ll be reading a little fiction when I travel but I’ll be reading quite a bit of Food Studies nonfiction. Our most junior sociologist said he never reads fiction though he’s a baseball enthusiast, and in the early stages of developing a freshman seminar on sports. See more at http://milieuxmorass.wordpress.com/author/milieuxmorass/. And our most senior colleague confessed that he never reads fiction and never watches television. In addition to obligatory nonfiction, I’ll be watching Madmen, Arrested Development and Breaking Bad this summer (and aren’t they all full of sociology).
So what am I reading this summer?
Currently I am reviewing Beyond hummus and falafel : social and political aspects of Palestinian food in Israel by Gvion, Liora. I am reviewing this for Food, Culture and Society largely because I am interested in how food can be used to teach social issues and global politics.
And later this summer, I intend to read Smart Casual: The Transformation of Gourmet Restaurant Style in America by Alison Pearlman because of some great reviews I have seen as “Smart Casual” intends to provide an interesting critique of foodies, class and consumption. I also need to read Michael Pollan’s Cooked so I can weigh in on the debate in terms of how we understand the class/gender and racial privileges that often shape how we can fix our national food problems, food crisis, obesity epidemic etc. And I even intend to take a look at Gwyneth’s new cookbook, though I might not purchase it.
And getting back to lunch, the food at Riley’s is always good. I ordered the flank steak salad (one of the lunch specials). No pictures this time, but this is a place a frequent regularly because the specials are great, the atmosphere is always inviting and the service is solid so many more visits to Riley’s are to come.