Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in the 19th Century

By Kyla Wazana Tompkins | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

Though I will come quickly to the long list of people to whom I am indebted, I hope that I will be forgiven a quick digression so that I may acknowledge the many tables where I began to observe the politics of food and eating. Eating and cooking—at restaurants or at home—have always gone hand in hand with the world of ideas and art for me. I stumbled over many of the ideas in this book either talking and eating with family or, alternately, sitting alone in a café or bar with a cold cup of coffee, something small and delicious (and, while a student, cheap), and my laptop or a book.

To wit, let me start with my mother, Lydia Wazana, and her restaurant Miro—formerly La Pizzeria—which is to be found beachside in Cabarete, the Dominican Republic. Anyone whose parent runs a restaurant knows how lucky I have been to have Miro to retreat to. To Miro I would add Friday-night Shabbat French fries at my great-grandmother’s; Saturday dafinas in my grandmother Margaret Reboh’s home; breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with my aunts Kathy and Madeleine Wazana; and my aunt Nadine Reboh’s excellent grilled cheese sandwiches.

For intellectual nourishment I owe many thanks to the professors and teachers who inspired and guided me along the way, including my high school teacher John Pendergrast, who, though he may not know it, changed everything with a few words. At York University I was lucky not only to learn literary theory from Marie-Christine Leps and postcolonial theory and literature from Arun Mukherjee but to be a part of a group of activist intellectual women who congregated around what is now the Centre for Women and Trans People. Almost everything I know about teaching I learned at a university where most of us were from the first generation in our family to attend a postsecondary school. During my master’s degree at the University of Toronto I was aided along the way by Chelva Kanaganayakam and Garry Leonard. A few words—not enough, surely— must go to Linda Hutcheon: adored mentor, intellectual idol, and, now,

-ix-

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