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Sat, Apr 06



Session 3 (Units 4-5): The Sounds of Wise Women: The Kitchen Salon as a Multi-sensory Lab(2)

Have you ever experienced food that makes you wanna sing? This expression is an aesthetic value at the core of African-American gastromusicology (music & foodways). This course comprises live & recorded courses that cover 8 units of critical gastromusicology. Manual included. (Details below)

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Session 3 (Units 4-5):  The Sounds of Wise Women: The Kitchen Salon as a Multi-sensory Lab(2)
Session 3 (Units 4-5):  The Sounds of Wise Women: The Kitchen Salon as a Multi-sensory Lab(2)

Time & Location

Apr 06, 2024, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM


About the Event

Unit 4: On Soundness, Despite Seasoning: Tortured Lullabies as Work Songs

Smart-Grosvenor redefined the Black mammy as an American institution, an answered prayer as the backbone of the movement for white women’s feminist rights. In this chapter, we use the nurse archetype to comprehend the indiscernible ramifications of self-sacrifice, self-definitions, self-possession, taste nurturance, and certified soundness. We begin by considering the legacy of wet nursing as a consumed class, a human locus for intersectional gastromusicology in which enslaved Black women’s bodies are the technology of multi-sensory soothing and tastemaking for suckling enslaver children. Citing Joaquin Nabuco’s quote of an adage uttered by slave-holding planters in Brazil, Smart-Grosvenor wrote, “The most productive feature of slave property is the generative belly.”[1]Black women’s sacrifice of forced breeding, carrying, breastfeeding, breast milk, and lullabic work being the height of molestation and theft of nutrients and bio information was instilled into enslaver children while in the cradle. By adolescence, entitlement to Black women’s bodies for torture matures into forms of “seasoning” (forms of torture), such as legal ear cropping, to prove purchase and to punish, breaking the spirits of those who observed the dismemberment as well.

[1] Smart-Grosvenor, 2018, 73.

Unit 5: The Sound of Wise Women: The Poetics of Smoky Sizzling Inventiveness and Preservation in Kitchen Beauty Salons

African American culinary tradition and practical method is passed down orally. This is called “embodied knowledge,” and in a patriarchal society that privileges pure rationality and academic learning, this form of practical knowledge is denigrated, especially as it is mostly practiced by women, whether white or Black.[1]Enslaved Black women had a doubly disadvantaged position in their society, being members of the “wrong” sex and race at the same time. With attention to the co-optation distribution gastromusical “Mammy cook” stereotypes and the co-optation of Black women’s homemade enterprises that have been distributed throughout musical and cinematic culture, I consider two important cookbooks and the social lives of two of my sister-friendshappen to be worship leaders in their communities, reclaiming the kitchen as an intersectional site, a place of wisdom transferal for human preservation and redefinition of beauty as they convert the kitchen into a laboratory.


Seasoning: A Course in Gastromusicology

Shortly after the term “soul food” was popularized on the heels of the “soul music” genre, culinary anthropologist and Sun Ra touring musician Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor published the cookbook-memoir Vibration Cooking or The Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl (1970). In the tradition of Zora Neale Hurston’s ethnographic research and Ms. Edna Lewis’ culinary culture-bearing, Vibration Cooking challenged the primacy of the “soul food” concept by centring on food as a source of pride, a site of sensuality, an art of multisensory storytelling, a validation of Black womanhood and Black consciousness-raising. Deeply rooted in her musical experiences, Smart-Grosvenor wrote, “When I cook, I never measure or weigh anything. I cook by vibration.” Through her cultural anthropological writing, she pinned an intersection of music/sound, sensuality, and culinary perception that has yet to be explored through the lens of music or sound studies.

Probing that constellation of soulful, musical, sensual, and culinary perception, the textbook Seasoning: A Course in Gastromusicology is a ground-breaking critical investigation into the interconnectedness of African American embodiment, oral transmission, cultural production, wealth extraction, and consumption in the global marketplace as emblematic of what I coin as gastromusicophysics or multisensory “taste.”  Highly competent culture-bearers in the marketplace that I call “ultrasonic tastemakers” resonate with and register their talent, tapping into high vibrations, and frequencies of creative expressions, decision making and influencing what is, will be, and their products endure as en vogue, succulent, and mellifluous.

Units Covered

Unit 1 -- Basic Gastromusicology Research Methods   

Unit 2 -- GOODNESS: An Introduction to Critical Gastromusicology    

Unit 3 -- The Vagina Dentata: The Unutterable Confluence of Diet, Discordance, and Black Sexual Purity in Gospel Music.   

Unit 4 -- On Soundness, Despite Seasoning: Tortured Lullabies as Work Songs 

Unit 5 -- The Sound of Wise Women: The Poetics of Smoky Sizzling Inventiveness and Preservation in Kitchen Beauty Salons  

Unit 6 -- “I Don’t Want No Peanut Butter and Jelly”: Indulgence Management and the Loss of Appetite for the “Wrong Food”       

Unit 7 --  Global Tastemakers: Touring Musicians Cooking Food that Makes You Want to Sing  

Unit 8 -- COMMUNION: “Bad Blood” Stigmata and Remembrance

Session Dates:

*All Sessions are First Saturdays from 10 am - Noon 

**Sesssion 1: Units 1 and 2 **

3 Feb, 2024 

Session 2: Units 3 and 4 

2 March, 2024

Session 3:  Units 4 and 5

6 April

Session4: Units 6 and 7 

4 May 

Session 5:  Unit 8 

1 June 

Fee Schedule 

Session 1 (Units 1-2)** $150 Mandatory Session (Live and Recorded)

All Sessions Package: $772.10

Individual Sessions: $108.88


  • Session 3 (Units 4-5)

    +$2.72 service fee
    Sale ended



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