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date: 25 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Through the lens of Henry Norwood’s A Voyage to Virginia, a harrowing account of a royalist exile’s 1649–1650 journey from Oliver Cromwell’s England to British America, this chapter explores the interplay of material culture and cognition. The coevolution of things and people, however, is not just about “how” we know and evolve with and through things but also about aesthetics and affect in everyday life. Norwood punctuates the account of his journey with recitations of the foods he encountered, their preparations, and their consumption, and through that framing device reveals a deeper engagement with civil discourse. Recuperating Norwood’s natural, cultural, and culinary contexts reveals social ecologies that range from how individuals and communities addressed factors as diverse as climate change, ennobled governance, and global sensus communis through objects as plain as a mussel shell spoon, a well-ordered table, or a pot of oyster and turkey stew.

Keywords: material culture, affect, aesthetics, foodways, food silences, seventeenth century, American Indians, British America, social imaginaries, embodied histories

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