Marie-Pierre Ulloa: North African Feasts: Transcultural Culinary Narratives on Californian Tables

Thursday, May 4, 2017, 12:30pm
Encina Hall West, Room 219
Marie-Pierre Ulloa: North African Feasts: Transcultural Culinary Narratives on Californian Tables
Marie-Pierre Ulloa will present the book chapter on gastronomy of her thesis “From North Africa to California : migrant trajectories, narratives of integration”. In her research, she traces the multiple trajectories of these migrants, many of them French citizens or having dual or triple citizenships, navigating between three cultures (Maghrebi, French and Californian) and spanning three generations (Baby-boomers, Generation X and Millennials). She interviewed 92 persons and followed several families living in California over the course of four years (2012-2015) and studied the migrant narratives from a cultural, historical, literary, and sociological perspective. Unlike many other immigrant communities, North African immigration in California is a complex case of a triangulation between the mother country, the host country and the country of the ex-colonizer, and some of these migrants embrace their multiple heritage in opening French and Maghrebi restaurants. In many instances, these immigrants themselves, of Muslim or Jewish cultures, become the vectors of French cultural influence in California such as in the food and hospitality business. The cachet of the highly valued French culture gives them significant symbolic capital. But this France is an imaginary France with its stereotypes abroad, as much as this Maghreb is a phantasmagoric Maghreb with its clichés abroad, and the immigrant saga recounted in the restaurant and hospitality business recalls first and foremost the “bricolage” of one’s plural identity. 
Marie-Pierre Ulloa is a lecturer in French and Francophone Studies in the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages at Stanford University, faculty of the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies - Mediterranean Studies Forum, the Taube Center for Jewish Studies, and an affiliated researcher with the Cadis (Centre d’Analyse et d’Intervention Sociologiques) in Paris.

She holds a M.A. and an Advanced Post-Graduate Diploma in intellectual history from Sciences Po Paris, where she wrote her dissertation on intellectual dissidence from World War II to post-Algerian War through the case study of the existentialist philosopher Francis Jeanson : Francis Jeanson, A Dissident Intellectual from the French Resistance to the Algerian War (SUP, 2008). She completed her thesis at the EHESS (School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences) under the direction of Farhad Khosrokhavar and Denis Lacorne.
Co-sponsored by the Department of French-Italian, The France-Stanford Center, DLCL, Jewish Studies