Jess Usher Lecture Series

The Jess Usher Lecture Series features a carefully curated slate of dynamic presentations, drawn from a wide range of disciplines and delivered by distinguished members of the ABAC faculty. Formerly known as the ABAC Lecture Series, this special collection has been renamed in memory of Dr. Jess Usher, a beloved ABAC professor and former lecturer in the series, who passed away in June 2021. Each event is free and open to the public with no ticket required.

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Dr. Russel Pryor:
“Mass Migration and the All-American Meal"

Thursday April 7, 2022

6:00, Edwards Hall

Pryor teaches courses on U.S., world, and food history at ABAC. His lecture will ask us to think about the role successive waves of immigrant women played in creating what we see as an “all-American meal.” The dishes we think of as “American” all have a history. In his lecture, Pryor will draw out what he sees as the core of what makes the “all-American meal” through three waves of migration – forced migration of enslaved West Africans, the migration of Southern and Eastern Europeans through Ellis Island, and more recent migration from the Americas.

“We won’t have a buffet on hand, but I’ll provide some good recipes, I promise. The most ‘American’ cookbook I can think of is one I inherited from my grandmother, Virginia West, who was an ABAC alumnus, Class of 1941,” Pryor explained. “It’s the Montezuma Mennonite Cookbook. Its full of her notes, and it’s also full of recipes for Americanized dishes that originated all over the world – West Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas.”

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