Feeding Fascism: The Politics of Women’s Food Work
Available: March 2022© 2022
292 Pages, 7.00 x 10.00 in, 32 colour illustrations, 49 b&w illustrations
Not Yet Published
Feeding Fascism explores how women negotiated the politics of Italy’s Fascist regime in their daily lives and how they fed their families through agricultural and industrial labour. The book looks at women’s experiences of Fascism by examining the material world in which they lived in relation to their thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Over the past decade, Diana Garvin has conducted extensive research in Italian museums, libraries, and archives. Feeding Fascism includes illustrations of rare cookbooks, kitchen utensils, cafeteria plans, and culinary propaganda to connect women’s political beliefs with the places that they lived and worked and the objects that they owned and borrowed. Garvin draws on first-hand accounts, such as diaries, work songs, and drawings, that demonstrate how women and the Fascist state vied for control over national diet across many manifestations – cooking, feeding, and eating – to assert and negotiate their authority. Revealing the national stakes of daily choices, and the fine line between resistance and consent, Feeding Fascism attests to the power of food.
Introduction: Tabletop Politics
1. Feeding Fascism
2. Culinary Battles and Rural Revolt
3. Breastfeeding at the Chocolate Factory
4. Recipes for Exceptional Times
5. Model Fascist Kitchens
Conclusion: From Feeding Fascism to Eating Mussolini
A Note to Future Researchers
"Using case studies ranging from the songs of women labouring in the rice paddies to the design of the model Fascist kitchen, Diana Garvin cleverly elucidates how Fascism was woven into the fabric of Italian women's daily lives."Lizzie Collingham, Author of The Taste of War: World War II and the Battle for Food
"A fascinating journey into the world of food during the Fascist era that challenges widespread stereotypes and sheds light on women’s unexpected socially and politically important role, both as producers and as consumers. Thanks to archival documents, publications, oral accounts, and elements of visual and material culture, Diana Garvin's book stands out as a reference point in gender studies and food studies."Emanuela Scarpellini, Professor of Modern History, University of Milan