Event Coverage

Video: Iraqi Literary, Culinary Culture Explored

A scholar and food writer discuss their books, research

An author and an award-winning food writer, both Iraq natives, were guest speakers of the event, "Iraqi Literary and Culinary Culture: A Unique Experience via Mind and Stomach," held in the East Campus Common.

For the full videos of their lectures, visit: http://maxguides.bridgew.edu/mideast/nawal-shakir

During his presentation, author and scholar Dr. Shakir Mustafa read from his book, Contemporary Iraqi Fiction: An Anthology (2008), which features work from 16 Iraqi writers and is the first anthology of its kind in the West. Dr. Mustafa taught at Mosul University in his home country for 11 years, before coming to the states and teaching at Indiana University and Boston University from 1999 to 2008. His research focuses on literary translation, Irish drama, and Jewish American fiction. He has given a number of lectures, and radio and television interviews (for NPR, BBC, NECN, FOX News, and Voice of America, among others) on Arab and Muslim cultures and politics.

Nawal Nasrallah, an award-winning researcher and food writer, focused on the culinary culture of her homeland. For the event, she cooked a spread of traditional Iraqi food, which included recipes dating back to Medieval times, and demonstrated how to make certain dishes. Her books include: Delights from the Garden of Eden, a Cookbook and a History of the Iraqi Cuisine (2003); Beginner’s Iraqi Arabic -- with audio CDs (2006); an English translation of a 10th-century Baghdadi cookbook, titled, Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens (2007); and Dates: A Global History (2011). Her recipes have been featured in many publications, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, and Food and Wine.

The event was co-sponsored by the Center for Middle East Studies, the Department of English, the U.S. Ethnic Studies Program, and the Women's and Gender Studies Program.