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Dallas Les Dames give $100,000 endowment to UT American Studies

Addie Broyles

The UT Department of American Studies, which earlier this year became the official home for Foodways Texas, is in the news again today for its work in researching Texas’ food culture.

The Dallas Chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier, a professional organization of women working in the food industry, has awarded the American Studies department a $100,000 Presidential Fellowship to support graduate research in Texas, women and food culture.

Most Les Dames groups, including the Austin chapter, use the money they raise for culinary scholarships, but this donation acknowledges the importance of studying food culture and, specifically, women’s influence on it, says department chair Elizabeth Engelhardt.

The money will provide support for graduate students working on their dissertation projects, which in the past have included cultural histories of Texas restaurants, food festivals and annual events, such as church barbecues, as well as women’s co-operative groceries and the marketing images of the organics movement in the U.S.

A reminder: Foodways Texas is hosting its fourth annual conference this week at Texas A&M in College Station. The theme is “Farm to Market,” and tickets cost $300 for non-members. (Members pay $275 for the symposium, and a yearlong membership costs $25 for students, $75 for individuals and $100 for a family.)