Pumpkin: The Curious History of an American Icon
Celebrate autumn harvest season with LancasterHistory.org on Thursday, October 5. Professor Cindy Ott joins us to present Pumpkin: The Curious History of an American Icon. Why do so many Americans drive for miles each autumn to buy a vegetable that they are unlikely to eat? Americans have used the pumpkin to fulfill their desire to maintain connections to nature and to the family farm of lore, and small farms and rural communities have been revitalized in the process. While the pumpkin has inspired American myths and traditions, the pumpkin itself has changed because of the ways people have perceived, valued, and used it. Pumpkin is a smart and lively study of the deep meanings hidden in common things and their power to make profound changes in the world around us. Having done research in Lancaster County, Professor Ott will explore the fascinating history of the pumpkin and its connections to southeastern Pennsylvania.
Cindy Ott is an associate professor in the history department and museum studies program at the University of Delaware. Her fields of expertise are American food and culture, U.S. environmental history, history and memory, and material and visual culture. Along with her book Pumpkin: The Curious History of an American Icon (2012), she has published articles on urban gardens, food reform movements, Indian and non-Indian relations, visual and material culture, and landscape and memory. She is the President of the Society of Fellows at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society based in Munich, Germany, and a member of the executive committee of the American Society for Environmental History. Cindy is currently writing a book entitled Biscuits and Buffalo: Squashing Myths about Food in Indian Country.
Event information: This event takes place in Ryder Hall at LancasterHistory.org. A social gathering begins at 4pm, followed by the presentation at 4:30pm. The event is free and open to the public. Ample parking available on-site.