THE HARLEQUIN EATERS virtual event with NCFS Unbound and Janet Beizer

Janet Beizer will join NCFS Unbound on Friday, April 5 for a discussion with Marni Kessler on her new book THE HARLEQUIN EATERS
  • THE HARLEQUIN EATERS virtual event with NCFS Unbound and Janet Beizer
  • 2024-04-05T13:00:00-05:00
  • 2024-04-05T14:00:00-05:00
  • Janet Beizer will join NCFS Unbound on Friday, April 5 for a discussion with Marni Kessler on her new book THE HARLEQUIN EATERS
When Apr 05, 2024
from 13:00 PM to 14:00 PM
Where Virtual (more info below)
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How representations of the preparation, sale, and consumption of leftovers in nineteenth-century urban France link socioeconomic and aesthetic historyJanet Beizer will join NCFS Unbound on Friday, April 5 at 2:00 p.m. EST for a discussion with Marni Kessler on her book The Harlequin Eaters: From Food Scraps to Modernism in Nineteenth-Century FranceThis event is free, but requires advance registration here.

Investigating how the alimentary harlequin evolved in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, The Harlequin Eaters offers fascinating background to today’s problems of food inequity as it unpacks stories of the for-profit recycling of excess food across class and race divisions. Superimposing figurations of the edible harlequin taken from a broad array of popular media, Janet Beizer examines representations not only of food but also of the marginalized people—the “harlequin eaters”—who consume it. 

"In Janet Beizer’s skillful hands, a curious nineteenth-century practice reveals fascinating networks of class, culture, and race in urban Paris and colonial France, leading readers to the modern roots of enduring differences in approaches to food scarcity, art, and more. Filled with archival discoveries and surprising forays into unexpected topics from clothing and color theory to Commedia dell’Arte and cannibalism, this masterfully written book is an absolute delight." —Andrea Goulet, University of Pennsylvania, author of Legacies of the Rue Morgue: Science, Space, and Crime Fiction in France

"A fascinating glimpse into the hidden world of ‘harlequins.’ In prose as lovingly constructed as the leftover meals themselves, Janet Beizer weaves a complex tale of aspiration, degradation, and transformation that conveys a message as urgent today as it has ever been: when it comes to questions of value, identity, and status, we really are what we eat." —Carolyn Steel, author of Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives and Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World

"Scrutinizing diverse literary and iconographic evidence, Janet Beizer ponders the unfortunates relegated to eating others' leftovers. Meticulously researched, theoretically sophisticated, persuasively argued, and engagingly written, The Harlequin Eaters broadens the bounds of contemporary literary, visual, and food studies. This is humanistic inquiry at its best, rigorous yet supple, bridging the alimentary and aesthetic, to probe these fascinating vestiges of our kaleidoscopic past." —Michael Garval, North Carolina State University