John Gennari (University of Vermont), "Everybody Eats: A Flavorful Riff on Black/Italian Music and Food"
In Italian American and African American cultures, the food/music nexus marks a space of intersecting freedom and servitude: an unembarrassed pleasure in one’s own bodily appetites, on the one hand, and a catering to the bodily appetites of others, on the other. Riffing on Cab Calloway’s antic swing tune “Everybody Eats When They Come to My House,” John Gennari examines how the expressive cultures of black and Italian music and food, both born of warping poverty, oppression, and dislocation, together have occupied roles of maternal nurturance, material and spiritual feeding, and body and soul affirmation for American society as a whole.
John Gennari is Professor of English and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of Vermont. He is an American Studies-trained U.S. cultural historian with specializations in jazz and popular music, race and ethnicity, and cultural criticism. Gennari is the author of Flavor and Soul: Italian America at Its African American Edge (2017) and Blowin’ Hot and Cool: Jazz and Its Critics (2006; winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for Excellence in Music Criticism and the John Cawelti Award for the Best Book in American Culture), both published by the University of Chicago Press.
Thursday, October 19 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Gasson Hall, Room 305
Gasson Hall, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467