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September 26, 2000


UMBC American Studies Professor Warren Belasco has won the Sophie CoePrize in Food History, awarded on September 9, 2000 at the opening session of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery at Saint Antony's College, Oxford.

Named in memory of a distinguished British historian, the award is given annually for an article or essay on some aspect of food history, embodying new research or providing new insights. According to the Oxford judges, Belasco's essay, "Future Notes: The Meal in a Pill," "is an absorbing account and analysis of the idea of the meal-pill, the historical context of its emergence in 19th Century Anglo-Saxon culture, and the social factors that made it attractive to generations of science and efficiency enthusiasts, and the reasons for its ultimate demise. We found this essay original and stimulating."

Belasco said "I'm quite honored given the late Sophie Coes' international renown and also given the international status of the award." He added that food history is a well-established field in Europe, "So winning an English prize for an article published by an international journal, edited in France is especially flattering."

The prize comes with a cash award of 1000 pounds (UK). The essay appeared earlier this year in Food and Foodways, the leading international journal for food scholarship, and is a component of Professor Belasco's larger book project, "Will the World Starve? A History of the Future of Food Security."

Belasco has been incorporating much of this research in his UMBC undergraduate courses on the meaning and history of food in American culture. In the spring 2001 he will be adding another related course that examines the roots and nature of hunger.

Posted by dwinds1 at September 26, 2000 12:00 AM