German Food and German Identity on Both Sides of the Atlantic: 20th-Century Germany and Contemporary Chicago

Part One:
Food and German Identity
from the Third Reich to the Berlin Wall
Alice Weinreb, PhD
Associate Professor of History, Loyola University Chicago

Part Two: (Starts at 46 minutes)
Beyond repletion: Discovering functions of German food in Chicago
Nadja Huthmann, M.A.
Cultural Anthropologist

Part One:
Food and German Identity from the Third Reich to the Berlin Wall

Alice Weinreb will be discussing research from her recently published book Modern Hungers: Food and Power in Twentieth-Century Germany (Oxford University Press: 2017).  The book focuses on the relationship between Germany’s food system and the two World Wars and the Cold War. In this presentation, she will focus on two different yet iconic foods – rye bread and bananas –  in order the understand the way in which food has been intertwined with German collective identity. Specifically, she will analyze the role of rye bread in constructing an “Aryan” racial identity during the Third Reich, and the importance of bananas for expressing capitalist and communist identity during the Cold War.

Alice Weinreb (PhD, University of Michigan, 2009; M.A., Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, 2003; B.A., Columbia University, 1999) is Associate Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago where she teaches courses in twentieth-century Europe, the history and politics of food in Europe, the Holocaust, and European environmental history.  Her book, Modern Hungers: Food, and Power in Twentieth Century Germany, was published with Oxford University Press in 2017. It brings together the history of state policies, famine and mass violence, and everyday food preparation and consumption, in order to trace the history and legacies of the two World Wars and the Cold War. Weinreb’s articles have appeared in Central European History, German Studies Review, and Zeitschrift für Körpergeschichte, as well as being included in several anthologies. Her second book will examine the postwar environmental movement in West Germany and the rise of a specifically German definition of a clean and healthy environment.

Part Two:
Beyond repletion: Discovering functions of German food in Chicago

 Nadja Huthmann will be talking about her fieldwork which she conducted in 2016 on German food and its meaning in Chicago. She was curious what role the preparation and consumption of German food plays in Chicago, mainly in terms of picturing oneself and others. Protagonists in this field study, often unconsciously, reflected on specific notions of heritage, identity, means of memories and discussed the role and reputation of German cuisine in American society. The researcher extracted seven functions of German food which she will represent in her talk.

Bio: Nadja Huthmann, a passionate traveler & food enthusiast from Germany, is interested in culture(s) and food from all over the world. She holds an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology from Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität (Goethe University), Frankfurt am Main and is a certified trainer for Cultural Communication Skills from BVV (Bayerischer Volkshochschulverband). Huthmann is co-author in the Kulturanthropologie Notizen series, Volume 69, published by the department of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology in Frankfurt am Main. Her strong connection towards humans and their stories made her volunteer as an interviewer for a neighborhood development project for VSM (Verein für Sozialpädagogische Modelle) in her hometown Frankfurt am Main. Her outstanding sense of taste and smell gave her the opportunity to work in a food tasting panel for a couple of years, further increasing her interest into food-studies.

Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 10 AM
Kendall College, School of Culinary Arts
900 N. North Branch Street, Chicago
(West of Halsted Street, North of Chicago Avenue)
Free Parking in the student lot across the street, not in front, please!
Cost: $3. Free to Kendall students and faculty with ID.

This program is hosted by the Chicago Foodways Roundtable. To reserve,  e-mail: