Finally someone may get to the bottom of why green Jell-O and funeral potatoes are so uniquely Mormon.--- The University of Utah’s Tanner Humanities Center has awarded it’s first ever Mormon Studies fellowship to Kate Holbrook, a doctoral candidate at Boston University for a project to study Mormon culture and food.
Her project entitled “Radical Food: Mormon Foodways and the American Mainstream” will delve into the connections between food and culture from 1930 to 1970. The project will also compare how food and culture intertwine in other religious communities, like those of Catholics and Muslims in America, of the same time period.
“Very little has been written about Mormon foodways in general,” says Holbrook in the U’s press release.
Holbrook received a master of theological studies from the Harvard Divinity School in 2001 and is currently working on her doctoral studies at Boston. She’s long been a scholar and published author on the subject of Mormon feminism, Mormon agrarianism and the history behind the word of wisdom. Her last paper presented was at the 2009 Mormon History Association conference where she re-examined the teachings of John Widstoe, a thinker who ascribed a direct connection between healthy living brought from the word of wisdom and being able to fulfill destinies and be resistant to sin.
The U’s Humanities Center hope this will be the first of many more Mormon Studies fellowships to be awarded by the University.