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Brad Bouley, Pennsylvania State

Wed March 9th 2016, 12:00pm
Event Sponsor
Co-sponsored with the CMEMS workshop
Building 260, room 252

Not by Bread Alone: Meat, Murder, and Warfare in Early Modern Italy

Abstract: According to several pamphlets issued in the 1640s, during food shortages caused by the War of the Castro (1639-1644), butchers working near the Pantheon in Rome began to commit unspeakable acts: they killed and ground up human beings to put into their sausage. Although rich in detail, much of the evidence from these pamphlets cannot be corroborated by other sources. Rather than reflecting a true criminal act, then, this story might represent a cautionary tale motivated by widespread fear that a quasi-luxury product—meat and, especially, pork sausage—was becoming both contaminated and unavailable. Using this pamphlet along with trial documents, edicts, and other contemporary diaries, this paper will present a prospectus for a new book-length project which seeks to explore the themes of food production, warfare, propaganda, and the connection between eating and identity in early modern Italy.