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Food in the Spanish and British Caribbean in the Nineteenth Century: Encounters, Exchanges, Identities

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Imperial Recipes (Food in the Spanish and British Caribbean in the Nineteenth Century: Encounters, Exchanges, Identities)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2017-05-31

Imperial Recipes research concern the discourse on food in the British and Spanish colonies of the nineteenth century. More specifically, it deals with how food was employed to build one or more colonizers identity and how the encounters of different food cultures interacted to develop and imperial ideology that acted through food, too.
Besides being a topic only relevant for historians, the subject of food and the related negotiations, appropriations, rejections and interactions of various food cultures and practices could also have an interest in our contemporary Europe and its relations with the global world and the present phenomenon of increased and constant migrations. The demographic changes subsequent to extra-European migrations seem to favor an increased sense of insecurity, a strenghten debate on how to define a European identity but also a discussion on the permeability of the European border. Even if history cannot completely solve the present dispute, this analysis on how the discourse on food was employed in the colonies, areas in which the encounters with diversity were the norm, present a useful cause of reflection, and has been one of the main objectives of this research, on the many migrants' communities that live nowadays in Europe.
The MSCA Fellowship aided this researcher to increase adequate skills and qualifications to be better prepared for the job market. Being a MSCA contributed to establishing the fellow as a cultural historian, with also a focus on contemporary European challenges related to migrations and the idea of Europe itself. Some of the practical activities developed during the fellowship concern archival and literature research, teaching, participating as invited scholars at various international conferences, organizing some other international workshops, seminars, summer academies and conferences, invited as an expert to participate to a PhD jury, managing the budget of this research, publishing, build an academic network of contacts, being part of a national research project, guiding local citizens to a historical visit of their city, organizing various courses for Long Life Learning University.
Besides contributing to the formation of a more prepared academic, worker and citizen, all the activities mentioned above contributed to put in contact the academic world with European citizens
As mentioned in the previous parts, besides being only a historical research, Imperial Recipes will also help the European society to think to the role of food in the construction of identities and of communities with its contribute from a different point of view - the one on food - on the relationship between Europeans and extra-European migrants.
Italian painter, 18th century, image of a West Indies market with slaves selling food