The past year was quite a busy and exciting one for the department’s junior faculty members, four of whom (Katharina Vester, Elke Stockreiter, Gautham Rao, and Justin Jacobs) published their first monographs. Katharina Vester’s book, A Taste of Power: Food and American Identities (California, 2015), examines culinary writing and practices as forces for the production of social order and, at the same time, points of cultural resistance. It has been praised as “a highly original, well-theorized analysis of how over 200 years’ worth of American cooking literature reveals changes in cultural identities.” Prof. Vester also recently received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor.
Elke Stockreiter’s Islamic Law, Gender and Social Change in Post-Abolition Zanzibar (Cambridge, 2015) reassesses the workings of Islamic courts, the participation of former slaves in the legal system, as well as gender and social relations in Zanzibar Town during the period of British colonial rule (1890-1963). This highly original work has been described as “a pioneering study” that establishes the contributions of Islamic courts to the reconfiguration of social relationships in post-abolition Zanzibar. Prof. Stockreiter is currently working on her second book project, titled, Identity, Religion, and Colonialism: A Social and Legal History of Djenné, c.1810s-1930s. In the summer of 2016, she conducted research for this project at the National Archives in Mali, West Africa, and consulted Arabic manuscripts at the Djenné Manuscript Library.
Please check back in the future as we continue to feature new books by History faculty.