• April 29th, 2021

April 29, 2021

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama Honors College has selected “The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South” by John T. Edge for its Common Book Experience in 2021/2022.

In “The Potlikker Papers,” noted award-winning author and food historian John T. Edge weaves together the story of food and politics in the South over the last six decades. Beginning in 1955 with the Black women whose food and labor provided fuel for the Montgomery bus boycott, Edge takes the reader on a culinary odyssey that reveals the history of the modern South. Highlighting the stories of noted southern chefs, restaurateurs and politicians, Edge illustrates how foodways have shaped the culture of the South and how the evolution of modern southern culture and politics is inextricably tied to the stories of southern culinary culture. “The Potlikker Papers” is the history of the modern South as seen through the lens of food.

The Honors Common Book is chosen by a campus-wide committee composed of faculty and staff. It is read by all first-year students in the Honors College, and is discussed by freshmen, faculty and mentors, both inside and outside of the classroom.

“Foodways scholarship is the perfect vehicle for introducing our students to interdisciplinary studies,” said Dr. Anne Franklin Lamar, Director of Honors Year One. “As Edge shows us, the study of food helps us make meaning because food is not only central to our everyday lives, but also to our cultural construction and our understanding of the past and world around us today. We all have stories to share about food, whether they are about a recipe passed down for generations or a simple connection made through a shared meal. As we read “The Potlikker Papers” together, we’ll explore these stories and discuss how identity, place and narrative are interwoven in our understanding and analysis.” 

To learn more about John T. Edge and this fascinating book, click here.

The Honors College at UA enhances the undergraduate curriculum. Its foundation is the Honors Experience, which provides students with an enhanced academic curriculum and the ability to work with their peers and outstanding faculty members in an enriched academic environment. 

Want to learn more?

View some of the courses Honors College offers!

See All Courses Apply to Honors Today!