DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire welcomes Jeffrey Alford, author of several books about geography and food, who will present the annual Holden Lecture Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012.
The Holden Lecture “Eating Leaves: Seeing the World through Food on the Thai-Cambodian Border” takes place at 7 p.m. in Richards Auditorium in Murkland Hall. The lecture is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Department of Geography, and is free and open to the public.
“Jeffrey Alford is a fascinating man who has led a fascinating life. Though he writes about food, he shows in the process that geography is essential to understanding how people live around the world and, more specifically, what they eat. He demonstrates how the fundamental aspects of geography — environment, culture, politics, history, economics — interact and come together on a plate,” said Blake Gumprecht, associate professor and chair of the Department of Geography at UNH.
Alford and his co-author Naomi Duguid have written six cookbooks about food and geography: “Flatbreads and Flavors: A Baker's Atlas”; “Seductions of Rice”; “Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey through Southeast Asia”; “HomeBaking: The Artful Mix of Flour and Tradition Around the World”; “Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent”; and “Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China.” Both “Flatbreads” and “Hot Sour Salty Sweet” won the James Beard Award for best cookbook of the year.
Alford recently moved to a small village in northeastern Thailand near the Cambodia border where he is working on a book titled "How Pea Cooks: Food and Life in a Thai-Khmer Village," which will be published in fall 2013. His lecture will offer a preview of that book.
The Holden Lecture is supported by the John T. Holden Memorial Fund in the College of Liberal Arts, which was established in 1995 in memory of John Holden, one of the university’s outstanding teachers of political science, who served that department for 25 years, many as chair. The fund is dedicated to bringing signal scholars in the social sciences to UNH. Past Holden speakers have included James Alan Fox, the Lipman Family Professor of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University; Lance Bennett, the Ruddick C. Lawrence Professor of Communications and professor of political science at the University of Washington; Stanley Katz, professor of international affairs at Princeton University; and William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.
Credit: Naomi Duguid