OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Diversity of food cultures explored in history lecture

10/04/2010

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Olivia Remie Constable, director of the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame, will deliver the 28th annual George and Dorothy Carson History Lecture at Oregon State University.

Her free public lecture, “Spectator at the Feast: Christian Views of Muslim Food Traditions in the Middle Ages and Renaissance,” begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19, in the Construction & Engineering Auditorium of LaSells Stewart Center.

Everybody eats, but different cultures have different food traditions, so food potentially can build, define or separate communities. This talk investigates Christian perceptions of Muslim foods ways during the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance period, when Christians and Muslims were increasingly brought into contact through crusade, conquest, commerce, and travel.

Constable will examine dietary behavior and the complex mixture of hostility and fascination with which medieval Christians viewed Muslim food traditions.

Constable, a professor of medieval history at the University of Notre Dame, focuses her research on the economic, social and cultural history of the medieval Iberian Peninsula and Mediterranean world, especially contacts between Muslims and Christians. Her books include “Trade and Traders in Muslim Spain: The Commercial Realignment of the Iberian Peninsula 900-1500” (Cambridge University Press, 1994), which won the John Nicholas Brown Prize from the Medieval Academy of America. She is working on a new book, “Muslims in Medieval Europe.”

The George and Dorothy Carson History Lecture is made possible by a private endowment and brings scholars of international standing to OSU. The series was founded in honor of the late George Carson, for many years professor of Russian history at OSU, and his wife Dorothy.