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Frederick Opie

Professor

Academic Division: History & Society
781-239-5611

Bio

My courses examine food traditions and how they change over time. I teach Race and Ethnicity in Latin America (through the lens of food), African History and Foodways, African Diaspora History and Foodways, African American History and Foodways, and Food in the African-American Canon. My upper level seminar on Race and Ethnicity in Latin America explores questions such as: What does it mean to be Black or Indian or white in Latin America?; What are the barriers to immigration?; how has the explosive growth of export-oriented economies transformed race relations in Latin America?; And what is the relationship between race and politics? I use a variety of theoretical and inner-disciplinary approaches and case studies to answer these questions. The African History and Foodways survey course covers the major subjects, movements, and events that have shaped Africa since the 1400s. These include: African crops and animals, African political institutions and wars, gender, the spread of Islam, slavery, European colonization, and African independence movements. The thematic thread throughout the course is the role of African food plants and animals in intercontinental and global trade from the middle ages to the present. My courses are organized to achieve the pedagogical goals of improving student writing, critical thinking, and argumentation skills. Courses are also designed to equip students to do research using peer-reviewed materials in print and online. Lessons on how to do high-quality and ethically superb research, writing, and editing are integrated into my lesson plans. In addition to classic texts and new scholarly readings, I expose students to history, culture, and food via film scenes and documentaries, and primary sources.

Academic Degrees

  • Ph D, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
  • BS, Syracuse University

Academic Interests

Food Traditions; Food Systems; Elections; Movements; Migrations

Courses

Degree Courses 2015-2016
  • HSS 2019: A HISTORY OF FOOD AND ELECTION CAMPAIGNS
  • AHS 1000: HONORS AHS FOUNDATION
  • CVA 2090: FOOD AND THE AFRICAN AMER CANON
  • HSS 2032: AFRICAN HISTORY AND FOODWAYS (HIS)

Publications

Books

  • Opie, F.D. (2015). Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food: Recipes, Remedies, and Simple Pleasures. South Carolina: The History Press link
  • Opie, F.D. (2014). Upsetting the Apple Cart: Black-Latino Coalitions in New York City from Protest to Public Office. New York, NY: Columbia University Press
  • Opie, F.D. (2009). Black Labor Migration in Caribbean Guatemala, 1882-1923: University of Florida Press

Articles

  • Opie, F.D. (2015, September) “Zora Neale Hurston on Floridian Food and Culture” ., pp. 15. Ann Arbor: Repast, The Quarterly Publication of the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor. link

Presentations

  • Food Justice, Race + Design Panel
    Opie, F. Food Justice, Race + Design Panel Black and Design Conference , Cambridge, Massachusetts (2015)
  • “Zora Neale Hurston’s Work on Food-Based Prescriptions for Illnesses: A History”
    Opie, F. “Zora Neale Hurston’s Work on Food-Based Prescriptions for Illnesses: A History” Book Event, Manhattan, NY (2015)
  • “The Culinary World of a Literary Icon: Zora Neale Hurston,”
    Opie, F. “The Culinary World of a Literary Icon: Zora Neale Hurston,” October Meeting , Brooklyn (2015)
  • “Earthenware: A History of Table Traditions and Related Recipes”
    Opie, F. “Earthenware: A History of Table Traditions and Related Recipes” Annual Meeting , Rhode Island (2015)
  • Panel Discussion, I contributed remarks on molasses history
    Opie, F. Panel Discussion, I contributed remarks on molasses history "The African American Experience: Nourishing The Soul Through Music and Food", Boston (2015)
  • Black and Latino Coalitions, the 1960s to Today
    Opie, F. Black and Latino Coalitions, the 1960s to Today Boston University, Boston, MA (2014)
  • Atlantic World Foodways Through the Lens of Zora Neale Hurston
    Opie, F. Atlantic World Foodways Through the Lens of Zora Neale Hurston Atlantic World Foodways: The Carolina Lowcountry, Africa, Italy and Spain, Greensboro, NC (2014)
  • Gender, Food and Culture in American History
    Opie, F. Gender, Food and Culture in American History Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (2013)
  • Stumping and Eating: Latino Voters and the Role of Food in 2012 Race to the White House
    Opie, F. Stumping and Eating: Latino Voters and the Role of Food in 2012 Race to the White House University of Maryland, College Park, MD (2012)
  • Ethnic Borderlands and the Politics of Food in New City 1959 to 1989
    Opie, F. Ethnic Borderlands and the Politics of Food in New City 1959 to 1989 Food and the City Conference, Boston, MA (2012)