Black Milk: Colonial Foodways and Intimate Imperialism

Thursday, Apr 6, 2017 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Presented by the UCLA Center for the Study of Women

A talk by Diana Garvin, PhD in Italian Studies, Cornell University

Part of Dishing: A Lecture Series on Food, Feminism, and the Way We Eat

This talk will use original Italian and Ethiopian sources to examine breastfeeding in the colonial marketplace as a key plank in the social construction of race and racism in the colonies. Specifically, Garvin will examine the Italian Fascist regime’s propagandistic newsreels and unpublished photographs of Ethiopian markets in Addis Ababa, Harrar, Quórum, and Asmara in relation with postcolonial oral histories and architectural studies of these spaces.

Garvin Interweaves the voices of vendors, customers, architects, and government officials to offer a cohesive portrait of women’s daily lives in Italian East Africa under Fascism. Ultimately, she contends that the marketplace provided a powerful symbolic arena for forming, shaping, and perpetuating the racial thinking that defined Ethiopian and Italian people, markets, and foodways in terms of black and white.