Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Powers, Madelon

Second Advisor

Candy, Catherine

Third Advisor

Mitchell, Mary N.


Cookbooks have a unique ability to record women.s history, both private and public. Cookbooks transmit not only instructions for preparing specific dishes, but also the values of class, race and gender of the times and places in which they are created. This study will focus on several such cookbooks produced by Louisiana women in the mid-twentieth century, from the 1930s to the 1970s. Different though these works are, they collectively demonstrate that the best cookbook authors are purveyors not only of recipes, but also of class values, ethnic relations and folklore, and gender models that one generation of women endeavors to transmit to the next. Most important, this study will argue that these cookbooks provide a rich and penetrating insight into the class structure in rural Louisiana, race and accomplishment in an era of segregation, and the role of gender in domestic and professional occupation.


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