10 January 2010

Bannock, Borscht and Sushi

Dr. Marilyn Iwama will be giving a presentation on the cultural significance of food next week at ArtSpace above Books and Company in Prince George. The presentation, entitled

Bannock, Borscht and Sushi: Do These Genes Make Me Look White?

explores the relationship between food and identity, and the ways in which deciding what goes on the dinner table is being used as a means to define Canadians. She will also be looking at food as a cultural flashpoint and stabilizer. The talk is part of UNBC’s “Anthropology in our Backyards” lecture series.

“In the Canada of 2010, grocery chains stock kim chee and naan next to the perogies and chorizo. We also attend boundary-blurring festivals, such as Gung Haggis Fat Choy Day,” says Dr. Iwama, who has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies. “Claiming and recognizing ‘our’ food is becoming harder and harder. What havoc have immigration, intermarriage and intercultural adoption wreaked in the kitchen - and does it matter?”

“In an increasingly diverse society with families piecing together various culinary and cultural traditions, deciding what will be served has become increasingly daunting,” says Dr. Iwama. “I suggest that Canadians are not only dining out on our changing society, we are also counting on food to define it.”

Dr. Marilyn Iwama was born in Nipawin, Saskatchewan of Cree, Saulteaux, Métis and Mennonite descent. She has worked as a registered nurse, lay minister, insurance underwriter, researcher, and poet. She has focused her academic interests on the transformation of culture and the interweaving of Indigenous and Western knowledge. Marilyn and her husband, George Iwama (who is of Okinawan and Japanese descent), have three sons.

See more in this PG Citizen article

The presentation will be held at

ArtSpace (1685 - 3rd Avenue)
on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 7pm.

It will be open to the public and all are welcome.


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