Cultural & International

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K-14 Spring23

CLACS K-14 Series. Dr Mariselle Meléndez (Spanish & Portuguese). “Food and Culture in Latin America: The Case of Chocolate”

Event Type
Professional Development
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS)
Hybrid event. In person at ARC Instructional Kitchen (limited spaces) & via Zoom.
Apr 8, 2023   9:30  
Dr. Mariselle Meléndez, Spanish & Portuguese, University of Illinois.
Originating Calendar
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS)

With the arrival of the Spaniards to the Americas, food became an instrument of survival as well as a tool to impose social hierarchies. However, the new environment and their daily contact with indigenous societies transformed the manner in which Spaniards thought about food. For indigenous societies in colonial Latin America, food also had a symbolic meaning representing an integral part of daily interactions and religious beliefs. African societies that arrived in colonial Spanish America in the early 16th century as slaves also contributed to the transformation of food consumption. Their own diets were affected in their interactions with Europeans and indigenous societies. This presentation examines the relationship between food, culture and society in colonial Latin America and its impact on our society today by focusing on one of the native foods of Mesoamerica: Chocolate. Our aim is to read culture through the history and consumption of chocolate in the Americas to better understand its impact on the articulation of social hierarchies, identity constructions, cultural distinction, and power. 

Hybrid event, presented in person and via Zoom. 

A professional development workshop for K-12 and community college educators, and librarians. Illinois K-12 educators are eligible to receive ISBE Professional Development Hours (PDH).

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