Heidi Gengenbach F'16

Heidi  Gengenbach
Associate Professor
History
University of Massachusetts Boston

ACLS Fellowship Program 2016
Assistant Professor
History
University of Massachusetts Boston
Recipes for Disaster? Hunger Relief and Changing Rural Foodways in Mozambique

This project draws on archives, oral interviews, and mixed-methods dietary assessment to explore 500 years of interaction between rural foodways and anti-hunger interventions in one of the most nutritionally challenged countries in the world. Set in Cheringoma, in Sofala Province, Mozambique, the study highlights the historical coproduction of hunger as a measurable bodily affliction and a gendered state of social ill-being, involving agrarian communities with their own ideas about food sufficiency and dearth, and waves of African, Asian, European, and American outsiders who have increasingly marginalized rural women’s alimentary expertise. While demonstrating the policy relevance of both deep historical research and the gendered knowledge of the agrarian poor, Recipes for Disaster? also moves the voices of rural women to the forefront of the discussion about ending hunger in Africa.