Food, Mobility, and World History

Donna R. Gabaccia

in The Oxford Handbook of Food History

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199729937
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Food, Mobility, and World History

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To determine how scholars have tackled the study of food as part of world histories, this article reviews research connecting the history of food with that of human mobility. It explores how and under what circumstances food practices "spread" or "diffuse" among human societies. It asserts that the study of food is becoming a more central theme in world history due to recent interest in mapping the links among the culturally distinct societies of the six continents over the course of human life on earth. Such histories offer a glimpse into the relationship of the general and particular in culinary culture. World histories indicate that trade, human migrations, and media are the mechanisms that allow particular foods, food practices, food technologies, and food knowledge to travel across space and time, and cultural boundaries to become general.

Keywords: food; world history; mobility; culinary culture; trade; migrations; food practices; food technologies; food knowledge

Article.  8928 words. 

Subjects: History ; World History

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