The Taste of WWII in Italy: International Tensions and Local Solutions for Food Supplies

The Taste of WWII in Italy: International Tensions and Local Solutions for Food Supplies

A Online Lecture by Lizzie Collingham, followed by a Q&A        REGISTER HERE FLYER
Moderated by Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair, MSU)
Opening remarks by Jeff Strickland (Dept. of History) and Maurizio Cellura (Memento Association)
Closing remarks by Kenneth Browne (videomaker and Italian Program major)

Sunday March 7  2pm EST   (ONLINE EVENT with simultaneous interpretation to/from English via Zoom)

Followed by the presentation of the project Food, Hunger, Migration and the American Myth in Sicily at the Time of the WWII Allied Landing

The lecture will explore the European image of “America” pre-1939 and examine the consequences of the German and Italian attempts to ensure food security in the 1930s. It will look at the impact of the war on food security within America and Italy within the context of the wider conflict. Here, the American boom in food production will be contrasted with the European withdrawal into self-sufficiency. It will examine the state of the black market as a way of gauging the situation for the ordinary citizen. Finally, it will look at the impact of the conflict on the European image of America post 1945.

The in-progress project Food, Hunger, Migration and the American Myth in Sicily at the Time of the WWII Allied Landing designed and coordinated by Dr. Fiore, and involving Italian majors Kenneth Browne and Francesca Oliveri has been made possible by the support of the Cali and Inserra families. It consists of video-interviews with direct witnesses of Fascism, the war, and the landing, and is aimed at complicating notions of abundance and paucity, political affiliations, and perceptions of Sicily and the US as formed by migration experience and the translational circulation of food and food stories. See current selection of excerpts from the interviews here.

Lizzie Collingham is a historian interested in linking the minutiae of daily life to the broad sweep of historical processes. She is the author of Imperial Bodies: The Physical Experience of the Raj (2001); Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors (2006); The Taste of War: World War II and the Battle for Food (Penguin, 2013) and The Taste of Empire: How Britain’s Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World (Random, 2018).

She taught History at Warwick University and was a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge. She is now an independent writer. She was commissioned to write Around the First Table, the ‘kitchens volume’ for a project designed to make the Indian president’s palace (formerly the Viceroy’s House, New Delhi) accessible to the wider public. She is an associate fellow of Warwick University’s History department and has just published The Biscuit: The History of a Very British Indulgence (2020). She works in a garden shed near Cambridge.

Short version of the url for this page: tinyurl.com/TasteofWWIIMSU

Image credits:
Terry Roopnaraine for Lizzie Collingham’s photo portrait