How Barbecue Became American: Literature, Conflict and Hybridity

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: School of English


This study's archive ranges from colonial literature like 'Magnalia Christi Americana' and the journals of William Byrd to Civil War journalism, 'Moby Dick' and 'Treasure Island'. All these texts insist or imply that barbeque is original to white American culture. But all also associate the food with savagery, primitivism, and cannibalism. These latter associations suggest that America's emergent national culture, despite claiming barbeque for itself, remained at some level conscious of the food's Caribbean provenance. By closely exploring this contradiction, 'How Barbeque Became American' casts new light on the emergence of American whiteness and its basis in inerracial fusion.


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