History Professor Wins Prestigious Book Award for ‘In Search of the Amazon’

This post, authored by Susanna Sharpe, first appeared on the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) website.  

garfieldHistory Professor Seth Garfiel received the prestigious Bolton-Johnson Prize Honorable Mention Award for his book In Search of the Amazon: Brazil, the United States, and the Nature of a Region (Duke, 2013).

The award was announced earlier this month at the annual conference of the American Historical Association in New York City. According to the website of the Conference on Latin American History, the Bolton-Johnson Prize is given to the best book in English on Latin American history published in the previous year, with honorable mention given to “an additional distinguished work deemed worthy” by the prize committee.

Criteria for the award include “sound scholarship, grace of style, and importance of the 978-0-8223-5585-4_prscholarly contribution.” The citation read at the awards ceremony praises Garfield’s work on a complex and often misunderstood topic: “Seth Garfield brings the best methodologies of social and political history into dialogue with new debates over environmental and transnational history. Examining the impact of World War II and the United States’ need for rubber on Brazilian policy in the Amazon, Garfield underscores the role of labor migration from the drought-stricken Northeast and competing efforts by military, medical, religious, and industrial leaders to forge a rational male workforce. The book traces transformations in ideas about race, gender, and family as central components in capitalist exploitation as well as in conceptualizations of ‘nature’ and ‘national resources.’ If contemporary environmental movements portray the Amazon as a pristine forest inhabited by traditional people, Garfield’s book lays bare the heavy presence of people and policy that continually made the Tropics.”

In Search of the Amazon was also selected by Knowledge Unlatched for a pilot open-access program for scholarly books. According to the organization’s website, through this pilot project, Knowledge Unlatched is seeking “a financially sustainable route to Open Access for large numbers of scholarly books.”

Garfield is director of the Institute for Historical Studies in the Department of History, and the LLILAS undergraduate faculty adviser. This semester, he will teach the graduate seminar Postcolonial Brazil.

Celebrated Cookbook Author Serves Up Stories of Mexico’s Culinary Heritage

oaxaDiana Kennedy, known by many as the “Julia Child of Mexican Cuisine,” will discuss the history of Mexican cooking on Thursday, April, 29, 6 p.m., at the Blanton Museum of Art, as part of the Mexican Center’s “Foodways of Mexico” speaker series.

From recipes shared between mothers and daughters to village feasts in which the entire community prepares the meal, Mexico has a rich food tradition. With her profound knowledge of the culture, Kennedy will discuss the dishes and recipes of Mexico that are handed down from generation to generation.

With a zest for adventure and a passion for Mexican culture, foodKennedy spent more than 30 years traveling to the farthest reaches of her adopted homeland to track down authentic recipes.

Stories from her travels along with a wide assortment of recipes are documented in her classic cookbooks, which include “The Cuisines of Mexico” and “The Art of Mexican Cooking.” She received the highest honor given to foreigners by the Mexican government, the Order of the Aztec Eagle, as well as numerous awards from gastronomic institutions throughout the world. Her latest book, “Oaxaca al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy” will be published in September 2010 by the University of Texas Press.