We are pleased to welcome Dr. Sarah Tracy and Dr. Rachel Vaughn to UCLA as Assistant Adjunct Professors for the 2016-2017 academic year!
Drs. Tracy and Vaughn are scholars of food, gender, and culture. They will be contributing to CSW’s Food | Water | Shelter, Feminism +the Senses, and Chemical Entanglements research initiatives throughout the year, and will be teaching classes and giving public talks.
Sarah Tracy is a historian of the recent past and of the United States in the world. Her work draws on feminist science and technology studies (STS), food studies, post-colonial theory, sensory history, and critical histories of capitalism. Her dissertation, “Delicious: A History of Monosodium Glutamate and Umami, the Fifth Taste Sensation,” examines two interrelated objects: the global commodity and flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG), and umami (roughly translated from the Japanese as “delicious”), the fifth basic taste that MSG is understood to confer. This project situates umami within translations of the life sciences between Japan and the United States and shows how the metabolics of taste are inseparable from global capitalisms. It brings feminist STS into conversation with sensory history, cultural history, and post-colonial studies to foster cross-disciplinary insight into how foods mediate value, health, class, race, happiness, and violation. Tracy’s research has been published in Global Food History and is forthcoming in Radical History Review.
Tracy will hold a joint appointment with CSW and the Institute for Society and Genetics.
Rachel Vaughn holds a PhD in American Studies from the University of Kansas. From 2011- 2012, she was a Fellow in Gender Studies at Oklahoma State University; and was then Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her research engages the intersections of food politics, food sovereignty, and feminist environmental theory. By way of her oral history research with scavengers, foragers, and dumpster divers of varying food security levels and socio-economic backgrounds, she explores how the space of the dumpster and the act of diving work as alternative forms of cultural knowledge about food. Her work asks how the labels ‘real,’ or by default ‘un-real’, ‘edible’ or ‘inedible’ effect people of varying food (in)securities within the current food systems we consume. Vaughn’s current book project is Talking Trash: Oral Histories of Food In/Security from the Margins of a Dumpster.
Vaughn will hold a joint appointment with CSW and the Department of Gender Studies.