Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty

A PASEF sponsored luncheon will be held at 12 noon on Friday, February 27, 2009.
Location: Lenape Room in University Club, 3611 Walnut Street, Second Floor.
Luncheon Lite (Soup and sandwich or soup and salad)..................$7.50
Full Lunch...................................................................................$10.25

Dr. Solomon H. Katz, Director of the Krogman Growth Center and Professor of Anthropology, will present the topic:

On Food

Dr. Katz is the editor of "The Encyclopedia of Food and Culture" (Scribner, 2003), a three-volume, 2000-page work that has been widely praised by food scholars and reference librarians. The American Library Association awarded Katz's multi-disciplinary title its Dartmouth Medal, the association's highest honor for a reference resource.

Dr. Katz likened the task of editing the book to putting together a jigsaw puzzle. "Figuring out how all these pieces fit together to make a coherent whole took three years," he said. Katz is an anthropologist firstó"the only one in the Dental School." His interest in food is reflected in his research on nutrition at the Krogman Center, which he conducts "with an eye on the biocultural perspective." Katzís fascination with gastronomy goes back to pleasant childhood experiences. "My enjoyment of cooking started when I was about 10 or 11 years old, when I watched my grandmother, Ida Heffron, cook for Passover," he said. "I was so impressed by all that she did from scratch, and impressed with the quality of it all that I actually started writing down her recipes." His academic interest in the subject began at Penn in the mid-1960s, when he studied the foodways of the Alaskan Inuit people. "So much of what we do in anthropology is tied up in what we eat, and you canít understand what we eat without putting it in a cultural context." Certain foods, for instance, have iconic status in specific cultures or places, such as the bagel, barbecue, the cheesesteak and tea. Or consider Spam, referred to in a sidebar article as "the Woody Allen of the meat world"ó--its status as something of a culinary joke is paradoxically key to its success.

Dr. Katz is Chair of the Task Force on World Food Problems for the American Anthropological Association and for the past two years has been focusing intensively on the world food crisis.

PASEF luncheons are organized by Nick Kefalides (Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine) and Henry Teune (Political Science).

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