Porterville College

The Omnivore’s Bookshelf: Food, Literature, and Culture in Four Meals and Four Books

The Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) at Porterville College
is proud to present a special event with


Dr. Julian Yates
Professor of English and Material Culture Studies, University of Delaware

The Omnivore’s Bookshelf:
Food, Literature, and Culture in Four Meals and Four Books


Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 – 11:30 a.m-12:30 p.m.

Porterville College Theater (CA-4)

(Book signing to directly follow presentation inside theater)


What do writers know about food?  How does food appear in novels, plays, and poems?   And what do we learn by reading such appearances closely?  In The Omnivore’s Dilemma (2006), journalist and food writer Michael Pollan wagered that unlike food-specific plant eaters (his example was the koala bear who knows its next meal will be eucalyptus leaves) human beings were faced with sometimes overwhelming choices about what and when and how to eat. He named our predicament the “omnivore’s dilemma.”  In this presentation, Dr. Yates suggests some writers to keep on this omnivore’s bookshelf, writers whose work speaks to the dilemma of how to eat and so to live “well”.


Julian Yates is H. Fletcher Professor of English and Material Culture Studies at University of Delaware.  He is the author of numerous essays on Medieval and Renaissance literature and culture, questions of ecology, the posthuman, and literary theory.  His books include: Error, Misuse, Failure: Object Lessons from the English Renaissance (2003) (a finalist for the Modern Language Association’s Best First Book Prize); What’s the Worst Thing You Can Do To Shakespeare? (2013) (co-authored with Richard Burt); Object-Oriented Environs in Early Modern England (2016) (co-edited with Jeffrey Jerome Cohen); and Of Sheep, Oranges, and Yeast: A Multispecies Impression (2017), winner of the Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize from Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts.  His research has been supported by grants from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Huntington Library, and the American Philosophical Society.  He is currently at work on Noah’s Arkive: Towards an Ecology of Refuge, a study of the legacies of Noah’s Ark in contemporary accounts of global warming with Jeffrey J. Cohen; and a book on Shakespeare’s dramaturgy and contemporary discourses of refuge with the working title Cosmopolitical Shakespeares.  Dr. Yates received a B.A. (Hons.) in English Language and Literature from St. Anne's College, Oxford University, and a PhD in English Literature from UCLA.


Copies of Dr. Yates latest book, Of Sheep, Oranges, and Yeast: A Multispecies Impression, are currently available for purchase at the PC Bookstore and will be available for purchase and signing in the PC Theater immediately following Dr. Yates presentation.



CHAP events are FREE and OPEN to the public – ALL are welcome


PC parking citations will be suspended for the period immediately before and after this event to accommodate off campus visitors.  Theater doors for the CHAP event will open at approximately 11:15 a.m.  Because classes will be held in the PC Theater before and after this event, we ask that you please wait outside the theater until CHAP Staff invite you inside for seating, and please be courteous to students departing for other classes and entering when the event concludes.  Out of respect to our presenter and audience, doors will be closed approximately 10 minutes after the start of the event OR when the theater has reached capacity – whichever comes first.  Due to safety regulations, once the theater is full no additional people can be admitted.


Students attending CHAP events for classroom credit will receive Proof-of-Attendance cards only after the event has concluded.  Only one card will be provided per student, and lost cards cannot be replaced.


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CHAP is made possible through the support of the Porterville College Foundation, and private donations.  To help provide financial support for CHAP events, please contact the PC Foundation office at (559) 791-2308.

Date & Time: 
Wed, 11/06/2019 - 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
PC Theater

Kern Community College District