Author John van Willigen Receives James Mooney Award for KENTUCKY'S COOKBOOK HERITAGE
Lexington, KY-University Press of Kentucky author John van Willigen has been recognized by the the Southern Anthropological Society for Kentucky's Cookbook Heritage: Two Hundred Years of Southern Cuisine and Culture. The book was awarded an Honorable Mention for the James Mooney Award for its contribution to anthropological scholarship on the South and Southerners. The Mooney Award was created to recognize and encourage distinguished anthropological scholarship on the South and Southerners. Presented annually, the award includes a $500 cash prize and certificate of recognition to be presented to the winning author at an awards ceremony. In addition, an Honorable Mention Award includes a certificate of recognition. It was created in honor of James Mooney, the prominent American ethnographer who lived with the Cherokee people during the late nineteenth century.
In Kentucky's Cookbook Heritage van Willigen examines the cookbooks from the Commonwealth from the last two centuries and analyzes the cooking technology used, how food was prepared, and the changes in social dynamics for preparing and consuming food, as well as, of course, what Kentuckians ate. He also explores how the cookbook enterprise has been more broadly structured by gender, class, and ethnicity in the Commonwealth. Van Willigen surveys a wide array of community and charity cookbooks, including Lettice Bryan's The Kentucky Housewife (1839) and celebrity Louisville caterer Jennie C. Benedict's The Blue Ribbon Cookbook (1904), and encompassing many recognizable faces such as Duncan Hines and the Montgomery County native who would become the original Aunt Jemima. Of course, no study of cookbook culture would be complete without recipes. Kentucky's Cookbook Heritage features more than eighty sample recipes spanning the Commonwealth's history, making it both an informative and useful addition to the library of anyone who cares about food in the Bluegrass State.
John van Willigen, professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Kentucky and the author of Food and Everyday Life on Kentucky Family Farms, 1920-1950among other books, is the first UPK author to be recognized for the Mooney Award. It was presented Saturday, April 9 at the 51st annual meeting of the Southern Anthropological Society in Huntington, West Virginia. Van Willigen joined this year's winner, Cherokee Reference Grammar by Brad Montgomery-Anderson, and the other honorable mention, Constructing Histories by Asa R. Randall, in accepting the award. "This venerable prize is well respected among anthropologists," said van Willigen. "I am honored."