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My Soul Looks Back: Jessica Harris In Conversation with Scott Barton

  • MOFAD Lab 62 Bayard Street Brooklyn, NY, 11222 United States (map)

To mark the release of her captivating memoir, My Soul Looks Back (on sale May 9, Scribner), leading food scholar and award-winning writer Jessica B. Harris joins NYU professor Scott Barton for an intimate conversation on Harris’s seminal years in 1970s New York City.

Join us for a one-of-a-kind look at Jessica’s life, including her friendships with Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison, as well as the recipes, hallmark meals, and musical playlists that constituted the smells, tastes, and sounds of a bohemian city lost to time.

Event to be followed by a book signing and informal reception with light refreshments.



About Dr. Jessica B. Harris
Jessica B. Harris is considered one of the preeminent scholars of the food of the African Diaspora. She holds a PhD from NYU, teaches English at Queens College, and lectures internationally. Her articles have appeared in Vogue, Food & Wine, Essence, and The New Yorker, among other publications; she has made numerous television and radio appearances and has been profiled in The New York Times.

About Scott Barton
Scott Barton holds a PhD in Food Studies from NYU, and is currently an adjunct professor in Food Studies and Anthropology at Queen’s College and NYU. His research focuses on the intersection of secular and sacred cuisine as a marker of ethnic/cultural identity in Northeastern Brazil.

Formerly a chef for 25 years, Scott has seen a wide variety of restaurant kitchens from New York to Paris to San Francisco, and applies culinary practice to theoretical frameworks of cultural construction and identity formation through Food Studies. Currently, Scott serves on the James Beard Foundation’s Book Awards Steering Committee and is a consultant for the Center of Culinary Development. Scott was recently featured on the PBS program, A Chef’s Life, for his historical comparisons of African-Brazilian and African-American cooking as Diaspora heritage practices.

In keeping with his multi-disciplinary research, Scott created a dissertation committee of scholars located in four academic departments between two universities to accurately inform and critique his scholarship. This cross-fertilization and collation building methodology is essential to the development of lasting alliances and support for Brazilian Studies.

About The Melting Pot Foundation
The Brownsville Community Culinary Center brings world-class culinary resources to the Brownsville neighborhood. Including:

  • a 40-week culinary training program
  • table-service eatery
  • café
  • bakery
  • community gathering space

Through this program, the BCCC offers Brownsvillians access to delicious, healthy, affordable foods, job- training opportunities, and a forum to address and organize around community-related issues.

Earlier Event: May 12
MOFAD @ Night