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Mindful Mondays

Marcy Norton at Montgomery College, Germantown Campus, March 7

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Category: Features

Published: 2019-03-04 00:00:01.000

Please join us for the second event of the Spring 2019 Frank Islam Athenaeum Symposia Speakers Series. On March 7, Marcy Norton will deliver a presentation titled, "Chocolate and the Flowery World:
Indigenous Aesthetics and Colonial Appropriation." Before Columbus's fateful voyage in 1492, no European had ever seen, much less tasted, chocolate. Initially dismissed as an odd Indian drink, this commodity came to conquer Europe on a scale unsurpassed by any other American resource or product. The history of chocolate undermines narratives of global history that emphasize the spread of European culture across the globe in the centuries after 1492. In reality, chocolate was a quintessential Native American technology that Europeans appropriated despite their ideologies of cultural superiority. In this lecture Marcy Norton will not only explain how - after initial resistance - Europeans developed a taste for the sensory experience of chocolate but how chocolate itself became a vehicle for the Mesoamerican concept of the "flowery" world.

Marcy Norton
Thursday, March 7, 12:30 p.m.
Montgomery College, Germantown Campus
High Technology and Science Center (HT), Globe Hall

A book signing will follow. The reception will be cohosted with the Art Department in celebration of Beyond the Curriculum, an exhibition featuring artwork of Independent Study students working in photography, painting, drawing, animation, and digital illustration. Please visit the work in the Atrium outside Globe Hall.

This event is free and open to the public. It also meets the multicultural diversity training requirement for MC employees. For directions to campus and information on the full series, please visit

Marcy Norton is associate professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania and a former Guggenheim fellow (2016-2017). Her research explores the intersections of environment, embodiment, and colonialism, and these concerns have guided her work on the history of food, drugs, science and inter-species relationships in early modern Europe and Latin America. She is the author of Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World (Cornell University Press, 2008) and winner of the best book prize from the Association for the Study of Food and Society. In addition to continued research on chocolate, she is currently finishing a book on human-animal relationships after 1492 in Europe and Native America.

Related Media

  1. SacredGifts.jpg
  2. FrankIslam-Flyer-Marcy.pdf
  3. SacredGiftsProfanePleasures.gif

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