Same Boat Different Stops: Culinary and Cultural Connections in the African Atlantic World.
Using food as a starting point, the proposed speech examines the cultural links that bind the countries of the hemisphere to the African continent.
Serve It Up Proudly: Some Thoughts on The Intersections of Food and Museums
Museums are changing how they position themselves within communities. The proposed speech examines several ways in which including food can increase community outreach and improve attendance.
Studying the Silences: A New Way of Searching for African American History
The proposed presentation examines how looking for what is unsaid, alluded to, or simply ignored can give a more fully rounded picture of history.
Master of the Flame/Mistress of the Stewpot: Putting Gender on the Table
The proposed presentation will examine the very gendered roles of Women and Men in the World of Food.
Hawkers to Caterers to Restaurateurs: Pathways to Wealth in the African Atlantic World.
The proposed presentation will examine how African Americans in the United States and the diaspora used food as a vehicle for the creation of personal wealth.
Bestselling author and historian Jessica B. Harris was “spectacular” in her event for Columbia University
Considered one of the ranking authorities on food of the African Diaspora, New York Times bestselling author DR. JESSICA B. HARRIS delivered a transcendent presentation for the African Diaspora Consortium & Columbia University – receiving rave reviews. An award-winning author, Dr. Harris was named to the TIME 100 Most Influential People and authored the book behind the Peabody-winning Netflix series, High on the Hog. When Dr. Harris visited Columbia University, the response was resounding: “It was spectacular! Naturally, Dr. Harris’ presentation was off the chart. Dr. Harris brought us a level of credibility that is already taking our work to a new level. Her presentation was the highlight of our event.”
The host followed up with additional praise, saying: “We fully anticipated the gravitas that her scholarship would bring to the occasion. However, her facility with language, particularly her ability to code switch effortlessly from one language to another and from one dialect to another, was an eyebrow raiser. Another noticeable asset was her ability to relate to the audience as a classroom teacher herself. I cannot imagine that we could have found a more appropriate speaker for the Workshop.”
Culinary historian Dr. Jessica B. Harris’ new Netflix docu-series High on the Hog receives the Peabody Award
New York Times bestselling author and culinary historian DR. JESSICA B. HARRIS has a new Netflix series, High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America, chronicling the rich history of Black American food and its profound impact on American culture. Based on her New York Times bestselling book of the same name, Dr. Harris’ docu-series has received significant acclaim, including nominations for an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Documentary,” an IDA Documentary Award for “Best Multi-Part Documentary,” and a Peabody Award. Sharing stories of Black joy and liberation, Mashable has called the series: “a celebration of culture and cultural preservation that not only inspires but urges viewers to appreciate the complex origins of food and family tradition as part of our global history.”
A masterful storyteller, Dr. Harris is regarded as the leading expert in Black culinary history, and her new series is featured on numerous “best of” lists including Variety, The Root, The Hollywood Reporter, and more. She is a prolific cookbook author and the winner of a James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, and shares with riveted audiences her depth of research and an engaging narrative history of African American cuisine. In an interview with Oprah Daily about the series, Harris says: “Food is such an absolute part of the human condition. That is something every person can connect with. It's the one thing on which we are all experts. […] we bring our history to the plate every time we sit down.”
Jessica B. Harris is considered by many to be one of the ranking authorities on the food of the African Diaspora. A New York Times bestselling author, she is the author, editor, or translator of eighteen books, including twelve cookbooks documenting the foodways of the African Diaspora. Her award-winning book, High on the Hog, was the basis for the acclaimed Netflix series of the same name.
She has lectured widely and written extensively for scholarly and popular publications. Harris consults internationally, is leading the Culinary Institute of America’s team to establish an African Diaspora concentration, and worked with the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture conceptualizing its cafeteria.
Dr. Harris holds degrees from Bryn Mawr College, Queens College/CUNY, The Université de Nancy, France, and New York University. She was granted an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Johnson & Wales University and holds numerous awards and accolades. In 2019, Harris’s books were inducted into the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame and she was the 2020 James Beard Lifetime Achievement awardee. She was named to the 2021 TIME Most Influential People list. Dr. Harris was a professor at Queens College/CUNY in New York for five decades and is currently professor emerita at that institution.
Visit Dr. Harris' website for more information.