The Fruits of Empire: What Food in Art Tells Us about Race and Society

Thursday, November 4, 2021 -
6:00pm to 7:00pm
Rockwell Hall
Murphy Auditorium

We welcome Assistant Professor Shana Klein of the KSU School of Art to present a talk highlighting the content in her recently published book: “The Fruits of Empire: Art, Food, and the Politics of Race in the Age of American Expansion.” Klein studies food in the decades after the Civil War, when Americans consumed an unprecedented amount of fruit due to advancements in refrigeration and transportation. The excitement for fruit manifested in an explosion of fruit imagery within still life paintings, prints, and advertisements that served as a platform for viewers to discuss who consumed and labored these foods—many of whom were immigrants and people of color. Divided into five sections on representations of the grape, orange, watermelon, banana, and pineapple, this talk will demonstrate how fruit in art struck the nerve of the nation’s most heated debates over race and citizenship in the age of high imperialism. 

Please RSVP