Research on Tap is back

Research on Tap will kick off this semester on September 13, 2017 @ 4:30 p.m. at Public House Brewery in Rolla. Arrive early to grab a seat and a bite to eat while you hear Dr. Kathryn Dolan, an assistant professor in English and Technical Communications, discuss her current book project on cattle narratives in 19th century literature.

Listed below is a short blurb to give you a taste of what is to come:
“The non-indigenous cattle has become the dominant food animal over the course of U.S. history, into the twenty-first century. The reason for this was access—often bloodily acquired—to cheap land to grow feed for cattle and other food animals. Cereal grains by the pound take one-third of the land to produce than pigs, for example. In densely populated Europe, then, meat was considerably more expensive than in the United States, which became known as the land of cheap and plentiful meat. Throughout the nineteenth century, the nation continued to add land through seemingly any means necessary: the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the U.S.-Mexican War of 1848, the acquisition of Alaska in 1867, continuing Indian Wars throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, and the annexation of Hawaii in 1898 and the Spanish-American War of the same year all contributed to the expansion of the nation’s territory. Much of this land was used for agriculture—specifically connected to animal feed. In addition to the land acquisitions, transportation advances like refrigerated cars allowed for meat to be moved from the ranchlands of the West, to processing plants of the Midwest—like Chicago and Cincinnati—to the urban consumers of the East. The progress of animal food production in the nineteenth-century United States came at a high cost to the land, humans, and nonhumans alike. The issues that arose regarding food animals and expansion are negotiated by U.S. authors throughout the century; I examine the work of Washington Irving, Caroline Kirkland, Henry David Thoreau, Sarah Winnemucca, Charles Chesnutt, and Upton Sinclair as they criticize and collude with U.S. economics and politics through the symbolism of cattle.”

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