Charis welcomes Alex D. Ketchum in conversation with Jaime Harker for a celebration of Ingredients for Revolution: A History of American Feminist Restaurants, Cafes, and Coffeehouses. A study of feminist restaurants in the United States, from 1972 to the present. This event is co-hosted by Violet Valley Books and Burdock Book Collective. Violet Valley Bookstore makes feminist, queer, and multicultural books available to the Water Valley community, the state of Mississippi, and the South. The bookstore provides a series of readings and other programs to support diverse voices in Mississippi. It features new and used books so that everyone, no matter their income bracket, can afford to have books. Burdock Book Collective aims to create radically inclusive community building and political organizing space in Birmingham AL. In addition, we curate intersectional feminist literature written by authors of different identities and life experiences, while centering and uplifting marginalized voices.
In 1972, a restaurant called Mother Courage opened in New York—followed by more than 230 feminist cafes, coffeehouses, and restaurants across the United States over the next fifty years. Ingredients for Revolution collects their stories for the first time, showcasing the vital role these institutions played in the fight for women’s liberation, LGBTQ equality, and food justice. Alex D. Ketchum surveys these businesses’ various financial models and dives into broader issues of labor, food sourcing, and cultural programming to understand how these women yoked feminist and capitalist commitments toward a more equitable marketplace. Brimming with archival research, interviews, and photographs, Ingredients for Revolution is a fundamental work of women’s, food, and cultural history.
Since 2018, Dr. Alex Ketchum has been the Faculty Lecturer of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies of McGill University. She is the Director of the Just Feminist Tech and Scholarship Lab and the organizer of Disrupting Disruptions: The Feminist and Accessible Publishing, Communications, and Tech Speaker and Workshop Series. Her work integrates food, environmental, technological, and gender history. Ketchum's first peer-reviewed book, Engage in Public Scholarship!: A Guidebook on Feminist and Accessible Communication (Concordia University Press, 2022), examines the power dynamics that impact who gets to create certain kinds of academic work and for whom these outputs are accessible. Coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the trailblazing restaurant Mother Courage of New York City, Ketchum's second book, Ingredients for Revolution: A History of American Feminist Restaurants, Cafes, and Coffeehouses (2022), is the first history of the more than 230 feminist and lesbian-feminist restaurants, cafes, and coffeehouses that existed in the United States from 1972 to the present. Ketchum's interest in past imaginings of utopia through business creation and the implementation of communications technologies has guided her new research and third book project on historically contextualizing the relationship between feminist ethics and AI. You can find out more about her other writings, podcasts, zines, exhibitions, and more at https://www.alexketchum.ca.
Jaime Harker is professor of English and the director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies at the University of Mississippi, where she teaches American literature, LGBTQ literature, and gender studies. She is the author of America the Middlebrow: Women’s Novels, Progressivism, and Middlebrow Authorship Between the Wars and Middlebrow Queer: Christopher Isherwood in America, and the co-editor of The Oprah Affect: Critical Essays on Oprah’s Book Club, 1960s Gay Pulp Fiction: The Misplaced Heritage, This Book Is an Action: Feminist Print Culture and Activist Aesthetics, Faulkner and Print Culture, and The Lesbian South: Southern Feminists, the Women in Print Movement, and the Queer Literary Canon. She is also the founder of Violet Valley Bookstore, a queer feminist bookstore in Water Valley, Mississippi.
This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage
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A study of feminist restaurants in the United States, from 1972 to the present.
In 1972, a restaurant called Mother Courage opened in New York—followed by more than 230 feminist cafes, coffeehouses, and restaurants across the United States over the next fifty years. Ingredients for Revolution collects their stories for the first time, showcasing the vital rol
An intersectional feminist guidebook on how to engage in public scholarship.
Public scholarship—sharing research with audiences outside of academic settings—has become increasingly necessary to counter the rise of misinformation, fill gaps from cuts to traditional media, and increase the reach of important scholarship.
In this book, Jaime Harker uncovers a largely forgotten literary renaissance in southern letters. Anchored by a constellation of southern women, the Women in Print movement grew from the queer union of women's liberation, civil rights activism, gay liberation, and print culture.