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Event Series Event Series: 2024 Lecture Series

2024 Lecture Series: “Appalachia on the Table: Reading a Region’s Cuisine with Erica Abrams Locklear”

March 12 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Erica Locklear

Join the Frontier Culture Museum for our 2024 Lecture Series. The first installment of the 2024 Lecture Series will take place on March 12, 2024 at 7:00 PM. The Lecture Series is free and open to the public.

When her mother passed along a cookbook made and assembled by her grandmother, Erica Abrams Locklear thought she knew what to expect. But rather than finding a homemade cookbook full of apple stack cake, leather britches, pickled watermelon, or other “traditional” mountain recipes, Locklear was surprised to discover recipes for devil’s food cake with coconut icing, grape catsup, and fig pickles. Some recipes even relied on food products like Bisquick, Swans Down flour, and Calumet baking powder. But why was that surprising?

In this talk, Professor Abrams Locklear draws from her new book, Appalachia on the Table, to explore where her—and the nation’s—Appalachian food script came from. In her talk she will focus on the representations of foods consumed, implied moral judgments about those foods, and how those judgments shape reader perceptions of those depicted. The question at the core of Locklear’s analysis asks, How did the dominant culinary narrative of the region come into existence and what consequences has that narrative had for people in the mountains? One aspect of her talk will feature archival materials from Appalachian Virginia that demonstrate long standing culinary knowhow, despite century-old narratives that suggest otherwise.


Meet the speaker:

Erica Abrams Locklear is a professor of English and the Thomas Howerton Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the University of North Carolina Asheville. She is the author of Appalachia on the Table: Representing Mountain Food and People (University of Georgia Press) and Negotiating a Perilous Empowerment: Appalachian Women’s Literacies (Ohio University Press), as well as various essays about the South, Appalachia, literature, and food. She is a seventh-generation Western North Carolinian who loves good food, books, and conversation.


The Book Dragon Bookshop will be onsite to sell copies of the book discussed during the lecture. Books will be able to be purchased with cash or card.


March 12
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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