Mergen Palmer Lecture 2014: Garden in the Machine: The Making of American Freshness

This past October, the Department of American Studies held the second Mergen-Palmer Distinguished Lecture in American Studies shortly after the loss of Professor Palmer. Barney Mergen introduced the lecture with some poignant remarks that linked the themes of the lecture with Phyllis work and future directions in environmental and food studies. 

Dr. Suzanne Freidberg, a professor of geography at Dartmouth College, gave a lecture entitled "Garden in the Machine: The Making of American Freshness." Her lecture explored the history of "fresh" food and the ways Americans particularly imagined and constructed the notion of "freshness" in response to modernization and mass consumption. Freshness was paradoxically seen as both a product of and antidote to modern technology. The quest for "freshness" also sometimes resulted in food practices that can be harmful and unhealthy.

The lecture ended with a spirited round of questions from graduate students and faculty. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the lecture series, or would like to be notified of upcoming events associated with it, please contact the department at [email protected].