Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Countdown to the Imperial Cities
In less than two weeks, I head to the Kingdom of Morocco to visit the imperial cities for two weeks before heading to Andalusia (via Madrid) for a month-long sojourn. This itinerary is part of a fellowship I was awarded from the Robert J. Wilmers '90 Memorial Grant from the college and its donors.
The project I plan on undertaking stems from my burgeoning interest in North African diasporic studies and the contemporary literatures of Morocco (as well as Tunisia and Algeria). I took a French class here at Williams my freshman fall entitled Contemporary North African Short Stories and later worked with my professor over the summer as a research assistant on a project that aimed at analyzing literary representations of the city of Tangier as a point of entry and exile. My love of all things Francophone and Moroccan took flight and soared.
My project aims to treat the following themes:
1. The Moroccan medina as a culinary cultural artifact
2. The transposition of the medina by Moroccan immigrants onto public space in Andalusia
3. The appropriation of Moorish legacy in gastronomic entrepreneurial ventures by Moroccan restauranteurs working in Granada
4. Food as a narrative of immigration and identity and as a weapon against xenophobia
5. The social psychology behind the 're-colonization' of the Albaicin quarter of Granada through business
I will be in Marrakech, Fès and Meknès studying the medina. I then move to Granada (by way of a 3 day stopover in Madrid) to luxuriate in cross-cultural issues for an entire month.
Send the hounds if you think I'm lost somewhere in the winding streets of Marrakech.