A Tasting Sampler of Canadian Literary Foods for Valentine’s Day

  • Shelley Boyd, English, Kwantlen Polytechnic University; and Nathalie Cooke, English, McGill University 
    Coach House, Green College, UBC, and livestreamed

    Tuesday, February 14, 5-6:30pm, with reception to follow
    Tea and coffee will be available in the Piano Lounge in Graham House at 4:30 pm
    in the series
    Green College Special Lecture
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    Enjoy a tasting sampler of the stories Canadian food voices tell!

    For Valentine’s Day, there will be a heartwarming friendship forged with milk and chocolate cake, and a journey channelled by tea and oranges from Montreal to the poetic and mystical. But there will also be some surprises: how sweetness can quickly turn sour, comfort foods fail to satisfy, loving food-related nicknames carry a metaphorical punch. And a poignant glimpse of how an unlikely single food item – bananas in a single-product market stall – can support a life, and contribute to an inclusive community.

    When writers of fiction, poetry and drama place food in front of their characters – who after all do not need physical sustenance – they are asking readers to be alert to the meaning and implication of food choices. Nathalie Cooke and Shelley Boyd invite you to listen closely to these cues, become attuned to increasingly layered stories about why it matters what foods are selected, prepared, served, shared, and with whom, where and when.

    Shelley Boyd is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Her research has focused on food scenes in Canadian literature and drama, as well as food-related pedagogy in the university classroom. She is the author of Garden Plots: Canadian Women Writers and Their Literary Gardens (MQUP, 2013) and co-editor of the interdisciplinary volume Canadian Culinary Imaginations (MQUP, 2020).


    Nathalie Cooke is an English Professor at McGill University. Her publications focus on the shaping of literary and culinary tastes in Canada, and during her career, she has been heartened to see social food studies gaining respect and recognition in the university classroom. Currently working on a book about the history of menus, she is editor of What’s to Eat? Entrées in Canadian Food History (McGill-Queen’s), founding editor of the online journal CuiZine: the Journal of Canadian Food Cultures, and co-editor of The Female Emigrant’s Guide: Cooking with a Canadian Classic.


  • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.

February 14th, 2023 from  5:00 PM to  6:30 PM
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