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Haley to give 2019-21 Moorman Lecture/University Libraries Culinary Lecture Oct. 28

Fri, 10/15/2021 - 13:49pm | By: David Tisdale

Dr. Andrew HaleyJoin food and cookbook enthusiasts Thursday, Oct. 28 for "Re-Pasts: Community Cookbooks as Collective Memory,” the Moorman Professorship 2019-21 Lecture and annual University of Southern Mississippi (USM) University Libraries Culinary Lecture, presented by Dr. Andrew Haley, associate professor of history in the School of the Humanities and director of University Forum. This event, which is free and open to the public, will feature refreshments served beginning at 6 p.m., with the lecture to follow at 6:30 p.m., both in Cook Library, room 209A.

Created by church and civic groups to raise funds, community cookbooks often outlast the causes they were written to support. Housed on kitchen shelves, in boxes in the attic, or in library archives, these pragmatic publications, over time, have become repositories of our culinary past, preserving the names of fabled cooks and recipes for storied dishes. In his talk, Dr. Haley will consider the methods writers of community cookbooks used to preserve culinary traditions, and the ways in which our present nostalgia for their cooking too often distorts their legacy.

“We’re thrilled to host Andrew Haley’s annual cookbook talk. This is the eighth year of the event, and it’s one of our most popular series,” said Jennifer Brannock, professor and curator of Rare Books & Mississippiana with University Libraries, and coordinator of its Culinary Collection. “The fact that this is also Dr. Haley’s Moorman Lecture highlights his, and University Libraries’, passion for Mississippi community cookbooks.”

The lecture will be accompanied by a potluck snack featuring recipes from the 1948 Booneville Presbyterian Cookbook. All are invited to attend and are encouraged to prepare a recipe from the cookbook, which is available online at

“Exploring community cookbooks has provided me with the opportunity to connect with the places and people who shaped Mississippi’s foodways,” Dr. Haley said. “This would not have been possible without the support of the Moorman Professorship and University Libraries and, despite the pandemic, the past two years as the Moorman Professor have been incredibly exciting and productive. In this talk, I hope to show that our present nostalgia for grandma’s cooking often blinds us to the many important ways that community cookbooks have shaped how we eat and live.”

To sign up for a recipe or for more information, contact Brannock at 601.266.4347 or Jennifer.BrannockFREEMississippi.