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The Scarcity Slot: Excavating Histories of Food Security in Ghana (California Studies in Food and Culture #75)

The Scarcity Slot: Excavating Histories of Food Security in Ghana (California Studies in Food and Culture #75)

Current price: $34.95
Publication Date: December 8th, 2020
University of California Press
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The Scarcity Slot is the first book to critically examine food security in Africa’s deep past. Amanda L. Logan argues that African foodways have been viewed through the lens of ‘the scarcity slot,’ a kind of Othering based on presumed differences in resources. Weaving together archaeological, historical, and environmental data with food ethnography, she advances a new approach to building long-term histories of food security on the continent in order to combat these stereotypes. Focusing on a case study in Banda, Ghana that spans the past six centuries, The Scarcity Slot reveals that people thrived during a severe, centuries-long drought just as Europeans arrived on the coast, with a major decline in food security emerging only recently. This narrative radically challenges how we think about African foodways in the past with major implications for the future.

About the Author

Amanda L. Logan is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Northwestern University.

Praise for The Scarcity Slot: Excavating Histories of Food Security in Ghana (California Studies in Food and Culture #75)

"The book provides an accessible way to understand the foodstuffs and foodways in the region and contains an impressive review of the food literature written in English. It is also methodologically exemplary for food archaeology analyses. I highly recommend this book to a large audience interested in West Africa, to specialised archaeobotanists, and also to archaeologists who will here be shown the potential of food archaeology."
— Journal of African Archaeology

“This masterful book is essential reading for Africanist students, scholars, policymakers, and anyone else interested in African food security and how the past can inform and shape the present.”
— African Archaeological Review

"[Logan] builds a strong argument for using excavation of soil, of histories, of cuisines as a key method for food studies. . . .the African continent should be an essential component of food inquiry and education; Logan provides a framework for where to begin."
— Gastronomica

"This is a superb book which calls into question many basic assumptions about African agricultural productivity and food history. It is beautifully argued and thoroughly documented. . . . The Scarcity Slot not only makes a hugely important contribution to the study of African food histories but also demonstrates the need for a much more nuanced understanding of Africa as a whole."
— Ethnoarchaeology