How Chocolate Came to Be - Kathryn Sampeck

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Monday, February 15, 2016 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Salomon Center, Room 001

Kathryn Sampeck

Chocolate is now a fairly unremarkable part of daily life. We know what color it is, how it should taste, what kinds of foods it should be part of. Little would you suspect that chocolate has a grim past that involved some of the greatest horrors of Spanish colonialism. A cultural history of taste in a broad sense shows how the contemporary experience of chocolate has roots in colonial choices about who produced chocolate, where, when, and for whom and struggles against abuse and marginalization despite changes in the political economy designed to thwart those very efforts. The archaeology and ethnohistory of how chocolate came to be is truly bittersweet. Sponsored by the Friends of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.

Kathryn Sampeck (BA, MA, University of Chicago; PhD Tulane University) is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Illinois State University. Her publications on the archaeology and ethnohistory of Spanish colonialism appear in American Antiquity, Ethnohistory, Historical Archaeology, International Journal of Historical Archaeology, Mesoamérica, Ancient Mesoamerica, and Journal of Latin American Geography. Sampeck is the 2015-2016 Central America Fellow at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. Previous fellowships include the John Carter Brown Library and Colonial Williamsburg and grants from the National Science Foundation, Wenner-Gren Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Fulbright program, and Cherokee Preservation Foundation.