Shana Klein Receives 2021 SECAC Award

Shana Klein
Assistant professor of art history, Dr. Shana Klein, received the 2021 SECAC award for Excellence in Scholarly Research and Publication for her book "The Fruits of Empire: Art, Food, and the Politics of Race in the Age of American Expansion." This competitive annual award recognizes exemplary work among SECAC members, a non-profit organization that promotes the study and practice of the visual arts in higher education on a national basis.

"The Fruits of Empire" is a history of American expansion through the lens of art and food. In the decades after the Civil War, Americans consumed an unprecedented amount of fruit as it grew more accessible with advancements in refrigeration and transportation technologies. This excitement for fruit manifested in an explosion of fruit imagery within still life paintings, prints, trade cards, and more. Images of fruit labor and consumption by immigrants and people of color also gained visibility, merging alongside the efforts of expansionists to assimilate land and, in some cases, people into the national body. Divided into five chapters on visual images of the grape, orange, watermelon, banana, and pineapple, this book demonstrates how representations of fruit struck the nerve of the nation’s most heated debates over land, race, and citizenship in the age of high imperialism.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 8, 2022 05:49 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 05:03 PM