College of Liberal Arts

Workshop: "Recipes for a Bright Future?: Cuisine and Utopia in Communist Bulgaria"

Monday Apr 3, 2017 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM | GAR 4.100

About this workshop: "This paper explores the extent to which the Bulgarian communist state attempted to create a utopian future by mobilizing dramatic changes in public and private food availability, arrangements and offerings. It explores how the shaping of both a “socialist” and a 'national cuisine' was intertwined with discourses on 'rational' consumption, and critiques of 'fat' as 'Western' or 'capitalist excess'. Such notions, however, came into conflict with the state articulated the political goal of moving ever closer to a utopian communist 'good life'. This translated into ever more elaborate efforts in the realm of private and public cuisine—for domestic and foreign consumption.

Mary Neuburger is a Professor of history, the Director of the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREEES), and the Chair of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas of Austin. She is the author of The Orient Within: Muslim Minorities and the Negotiation of Nationhood in Modern Bulgaria (Cornell 2004), and Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria (Cornell, 2012). Dr. Neuburger is also the co-editor with Paulina Bren of Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe (Oxford, 2012) and has authored numerous articles on Bulgarian history on topics ranging from gender and material culture, to ethnic identity, and consumption. She is currently co-editor with Dr. Richard Evans of the Journal of Contemporary History.

Read more about Mary Neuburger:

Rachel Laudan, Ph.D.
Visiting Research Affiliate
Institute for Historical Studies
University of Texas at Austin

Free and open to the public. RSVP required. To RSVP and receive a copy of the pre-circulated paper, please email Courtney by 9 a.m., Friday, Mar. 31.

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