Foraging for ramps, a sort of wild leek, is a springtime ritual for many families living in the southern Appalachian Mountains. The seasonal gathering, like many cultural traditions surrounding food, reinforces family bonds and community identity. Ramp gathering is one of the “foodways” examined in Southern Foodways and Culture: Local Considerations and Beyond, the proceedings of the Southern Anthropological Society (SAS) recently published online by Newfound Press.
The essays collected in Southern Foodways and Culture also address: political issues relating to obesity in the Arkansas Delta; Cherokee beliefs and uses of medicinal plants; food as a symbol and tool of power within prisons; and teaching anthropology through food.
SAS is a professional organization of anthropologists based in the American South. Members and participants are professional anthropologists, students, and laypersons with interests in any of the discipline’s four fields—archaeology, ethnology, biological anthropology, and linguistics. Geographical interests are not confined to the South but may range across the globe.
Each SAS volume published by Newfound Press is devoted to highlighting research on a particular topic featured at an annual meeting of the society. Southern Foodways and Culture, a selection of papers delivered at the 2007 conference, as well as SAS proceedings from 2008 and 2010, are available at newfoundpress.utk.edu.
Robert Shanafelt, associate professor of anthropology at Georgia Southern University, is series editor of the Southern Anthropological Society Conference Proceedings. Shanafelt’s research and teaching interests include general anthropology, folklore, political anthropology, the anthropology of race and ethnicity, and the peoples of Africa.
The Southern Foodways and Culture volume was edited by Lisa J. Lefler, an applied medical anthropologist and director of the Culturally-Based Native Health Program at Western Carolina University.
Newfound Press is a digital imprint of the University of Tennessee Libraries in Knoxville, Tennessee. Newfound Press publishes peer-reviewed works that may have a limited and/or specialized audience, with a particular focus on works with interdisciplinary approaches and those relevant to Tennessee and the Southeast.