One of the joys of academic life is the freedom to follow one’s curiosity, which you have done most heartily. You introduced students to the language, literature, and intellectual history of Russia, providing many of them a rich, immersive experience of post-Soviet Georgia. And at the same time, you turned your lifelong passion for food into a glorious, multi-course feast. More than mere fuel, food, you have shown,both conveys and develops culture as much as do art, literature, and music. In the classroom and around the groaning boards of your own warm home, you have convinced us that each bite carries with it hints, if we become open to them, of the people, economics, politics, and culture of each ingredients origin. You have written award-winning cookbooks that feed the both stomach and the mind, and, most astoundingly, you have created and guided the stunning, new publication Gastronomica. Is it a journal? A magazine. An art book? No one knows. What we do know is that, largely through your passion and persistence, the academic field of food studies, long considered to be in short pants, has finally been invited to the grownups’ table.
I hereby declare you Willcox B. and Harriet M. Adsit Professor of Russian, Emerita,entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.
June 4, 2017