Virtual Course | Soulful Foodways: African-American Culinary History [IN PROGRESS]

Date / Time

  • October 18, 2021
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • November 22, 2021
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • December 20, 2021
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • January 24, 2022
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm



  • Tuition for this course is $200.
  • Rosenbach members receive a 10% discount on tuition.
  • Not a member? We invite you to join upon registration. Click here for more information about membership.
  • This course is limited to participants who are 17 years of age or older.
  • Before the first meeting, The Rosenbach will send the Zoom link for course meetings. 
  • Two complimentary tickets to visit The Rosenbach are included with your paid registration for this virtual course. You will receive the discount code in your email confirmation and tickets can be booked here. Please check your spam folder for your email confirmation.
  • If you have questions about registration, please call (215) 732-1600 or email [email protected].
  • Registration opens for Delancey Society members on August 4, for members on August 6, and for the general public on August 9.



Course Description

Where, exactly, does soul food come from? Who owns it and what makes it authentic? How does it fit into the artistic and cultural traditions of the United States and the African Diaspora? This course will explore African-American food traditions–popularly known as soul food–through the lens of philosophers and writers from the Rosenbach’s collection: W.E.B. DuBois, Alain Locke, and Alice Walker in particular.

Join Associate Professor and Chair in American Studies at the University of Maryland Psyche Williams-Forson and Interim Executive Director of The Rosenbach Kelsey Scouten Bates to explore historical and contemporary writing exploring the history, philosophies, and rhetoric of soul food.

Soulful Foodways Syllabus

About the Instructors

Psyche Williams-Forson is the author of Building Houses out of Chicken Legs, one of the first scholarly works to explore Black women’s legacies examining food as cultural work. Williams-Forson is a Professor and Chair in the University of Maryland’s American Studies Department and her work primarily focuses on 19th and 20th century U.S. history, specifically social and cultural history dealing with race, gender, material culture, and food.

Kelsey Scouten Bates frequently cited Williams-Forson in her 2012 article Comfort in a Decidedly Uncomfortable Time, which explored the rhetoric of foodways in 20th Century Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Also a graduate of the University of Maryland in American history, Bates is a student of writing and rhetoric and has written and presented on Gee’s Bend oral histories, community memory, and foodways. Bates is The Rosenbach’s Executive Director.

Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarships may be available for this course. For more information, please contact Emilie Parker at [email protected].

About Rosenbach Courses

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