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A public lecture by Julie Fitzpatrick (PhD candidate in History, Royal Holloway, University of London)
2023-2024 Breslauer, Rutman, and Anderson Research Fellow


Organized by the USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research


The saying goes that ‘we are what we eat’. As such, the history of what we eat – and how we eat – touches on the basic fundamentals of the human condition. What does this look like in a period of intense food scarcity, persecution, and mass migration? In her research, Julie Fitzpatrick examines these questions in the context of the Holocaust.


In this lecture, she will discuss middle-class German Jewish women’s experience of food in emigratory landscapes: the choices women made when planning to move their home overseas, their experience of domestic service and housewifery, their navigation of food novelties, and the influence of food and its cultures in rebuilding life in the wartime and immediate postwar years. The move abroad exposed many to financial hardships, smaller apartments with inadequate kitchens, and acute lifestyle challenges. Ms. Fitzpatrick will analyze German Jewish women’s relationship to their middle-class identity and how issues of class complicated their experiences of prewar migration, as evidenced by their interactions with food.


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Julie Fitzpatrick is a third-year PhD student at Royal Holloway, University of London specializing in the interface between Holocaust Studies, gender, and the transdisciplinary approach of food history. She was awarded the Breslauer, Rutman, and Anderson Research Fellowship for the 2023-2024 academic year. In her dissertation, entitled “‘Light the Candles and Lay the Table’: A Study on German Jewish Women’s Relationship with Food During the Prewar, Wartime and Postwar Eras,” she investigates food’s intersection with a number of these themes. She is interested in food cultures in diasporic communities, the cultural history of German Jews, the relationship between food cultures and class, gender and domestic lives and socio-cultural anthropology’s contribution to studying food. Read more about Julie Fitzpatrick here.


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