Subnature and Culinary Culture Kickoff Event
The opening event for Subnature and Culinary Culture was on Wednesday, September 3 at the Franklin Center. It began with a lunch that featured seaweed salad and crunchy cricket salt and ended with rosemary meringues prepared and baked in the smokehouse behind the Allen Building. In between was a panel discussion of the project's concept and its specific manifestation in a range of disciplines.
“Subnature” is a term coined by David Gissen to categorize what architects have historically referred to as marginalized spaces in buildings and landscapes (e.g. darkness, dankness, weeds, mud, smoke, dust, etc.). At certain times, in certain places, these “othered” spaces have been reframed, reappropriated, and transformed to become aesthetically pleasurable places.
Subnature and Culinary Culture is considering how the concept can be applied to food. There is a natural connection both to the concept of terroir and to foods that challenge the contemporary palate, because of their source or their flavor or both—offal, cave-aged cheese, and insects, for instance. The discussion began with an overview from the project leader, Thomas Parker, a Humanities Writ Large Visiting Faculty Fellow and Assistant Professor of French at Vassar College. The other panelists then discussed their involvement from diverse disciplinary perspectives. The group included Saskia Cornes, Program Coordinator at the Duke Campus Farm; Luciana Fellin, Associate Professor of Italian; Gabriel Rosenberg, Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies; and Jennifer Stratton, an MFA student in Documentary Studies. They were joined by Marianne Krasny, Professor of Natural Resources at Cornell University.