American Studies
American Studies

Kerry Knerr


Doctoral Student
Kerry Knerr

Contact

Interests


Food studies, cocktail culture, economic history and geography, the erotics of consumption, representations of cannibalism, and affect and embodiment

Biography


Kerry Knerr is a graduate student in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her primary focus is on the relationship between American cultural imperialism and food and drink history. Her current project and master’s report looks at the intersections of American militarism and cultural imperialism through the developments in domestic drinking practices. At the 2014 American Studies Association, she presented her paper, “Institutionalizing the Bon Vivant: Reading Empire through Jerry Thomas’s Cocktails,” which traced the history of mid-nineteenth-century American cocktails through the layers of European colonizations to explore the interplay between global capitalist history and the social experience of taste. Her previous work focused on the popular culture productions of the Texas Rangers and the fictionalization of history, specifically in regards to broader Southern Plains cultural and economic history.

Knerr has also served as the Foodways Texas program coordinator for the organization’s annual symposium, which has focused topics including the markets for food and latinidades in Texas food. She also helped organize the South Central Writing Center Association and the UT American Studies Graduate Student Conference, both in 2015. Before coming to UT, Knerr also worked for the Texas Historical Commission conducting archival research on several of the state's historic sites.

Courses


AMS 311S • Eating Right In America

31020 • Spring 2019
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM BUR 436A

Please check back for updates.

AMS 311S • Eating Right In America

31097 • Fall 2018
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM BUR 436A

Eating in American culture has always been a fraught prospect. Each stage in the food chain—how food is grown, how it is prepared, and who eats it—is highly contentious on their own; these are then further complicated by pressure to eat correctly. This course will investigate how it is that people in America have attempted to adhere to or push back against societal ideas about health, etiquette, and culture. The course will be comprised of three units. The first will start with the colonial period and the first encounters between Native people and Europeans, where food could serve as offering of thanks or a biological weapon, and end with the food regimes within plantation agriculture. The second unit will look at the radical changes that took place in the first half of the twentieth century, ranging from the invention of vitamins to mass food rationing in WWII. The third unit will look at more recent interventions in American food culture: the countercuisine and the growth of “organic” food, body diversity movements, and anti-capitalist freegans. Overall, we will use the lenses of race, gender, ability, and class to understand what it means to eat right in America.

 

AMS 311S • Capitalism In America

30135 • Spring 2018
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM BUR 436A

Description:

This course investigates the range of ways that capitalism has influenced the development of the nation, from early contact to the present, and the cultural ideas that have shaped the daily life of capital. The course will be comprised of three units. The first will focus on how understandings of property in the trans-Atlantic world, especially human property, created a basis for the growth of modern capitalism. The second will focus on the interactions of geography and capital in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, with a focus on the ways that ideas about race and space fueled westward expansion. The final section will look at the ways that economic thinking changed in the post-war period and in the shift to post-industrialism, with the invention of economic statistics, like GDP, and the growth of neoliberalism and globalization. Overall, we will investigate both how culture shapes and is shaped by capital.

Possible texts:

Philip, M. NourbeSe. Zong!

Morgan, Edmund. American Slavery, American Freedom. 

Johnson, Walter. Soul by Soul: Life inside the Antebellum Slave Market.

Cronon, William. Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Making of the Great West.

Raibmon, Paige. Authentic Indians:Episodes of Encounter from the Late-Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast.

Kahrl, Andrew W. The Land Was Ours: African American Beaches from Jim Crow to the Sunbelt South.

Collins, Robert M. More: The Politics of Economic Growth in Postwar America.

Gilmore, Ruth Wilson. Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California.

Moreton, Bethany. To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise.

 

Assignments (include % of grade):

Participation: 10%

Weekly response papers: 25%

Unit papers (3 total): 30%

Final revised paper: 35%

AMS 311S • Capitalism In America

30815 • Fall 2017
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM BUR 436A

Description:

This course investigates the range of ways that capitalism has influenced the development of the nation, from early contact to the present, and the cultural ideas that have shaped the daily life of capital. The course will be comprised of three units. The first will focus on how understandings of property in the trans-Atlantic world, especially human property, created a basis for the growth of modern capitalism. The second will focus on the interactions of geography and capital in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, with a focus on the ways that ideas about race and space fueled westward expansion. The final section will look at the ways that economic thinking changed in the post-war period and in the shift to post-industrialism, with the invention of economic statistics, like GDP, and the growth of neoliberalism and globalization. Overall, we will investigate both how culture shapes and is shaped by capital.

Possible texts:

Philip, M. NourbeSe. Zong!

Morgan, Edmund. American Slavery, American Freedom. 

Johnson, Walter. Soul by Soul: Life inside the Antebellum Slave Market.

Cronon, William. Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Making of the Great West.

Raibmon, Paige. Authentic Indians:Episodes of Encounter from the Late-Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast.

Kahrl, Andrew W. The Land Was Ours: African American Beaches from Jim Crow to the Sunbelt South.

Collins, Robert M. More: The Politics of Economic Growth in Postwar America.

Gilmore, Ruth Wilson. Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California.

Moreton, Bethany. To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise.

 

Assignments (include % of grade):

Participation: 10%

Weekly response papers: 25%

Unit papers (3 total): 30%

Final revised paper: 35%

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