Friday, October 5

Study Up! Symposium Bibliography/Suggested Reading

The countdown is in full swing; our 15th Southern Foodways Symposium officially kicks off two weeks from today! We've put together a bibliography that includes can't-miss barbecue resources as well as books, film, and music by our symposium presenters. For those of you who will be joining us in Oxford, here's your chance to bone up on your barbecue smarts and impress your SFA friends. If you can't make it, we hope you'll read, watch, and listen along with us.

If you're the Twittering type, the hashtag for this year's symposium is #SFABBQ. Use it early. Use it often.

Southern Foodways Symposium 2012
Barbecue: An Exploration of Pitmasters, Places, Smoke, and Sauce
A Bibliography

Books and Articles
On the subject of barbecue, or written by symposium presenters, regardless of subject.
Access to academic articles may require a subscription to JSTOR or Project Muse.

Auchmutey, Jim. The Ultimate Barbecue Sauce Cookbook: Your Guide to the Best  Sauces, Rubs, Sops, Mops, and Marinades. Atlanta: Longstreet Press, 1995.

Anderson, Brett, ed. Cornbread Nation 6: The Best of Southern Food Writing. Athens: UGA Press, 2012.

Arellano, Gustavo. Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. New York: Scribner, 2012.

Barker, Ben, and Barker, Karen. Not Afraid of Flavor. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2000.

Bass, Jonathan. “How ’bout a Hand for the Hog: The Enduring Nature of the Swine as a Cultural Symbol in the South.” Southern Cultures, spring 1995.

Brown, Alton. Good Eats vols. 1–3. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2009–2011.

Chanin, Natalie. Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. New York: STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books, 2012.

Dotolo, Vinny, and Shook, Jon. Two Dudes, One Pan: Maximum Flavor from a Minimalist Kitchen. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2008.

Dufresne, John. Requiem, Mass. New York: Norton, 2008.

Dupre, Daniel. “Barbecues and Pledges: Electioneering and the Rise of Democratic Politics in Antebellum Alabama.” The Journal of Southern History vol. 60, no. 3 (1994).

Egerton, John. Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History. New York: Knopf, 1987.

Elie, Lolis Eric, ed. Cornbread Nation 2: The United States of Barbecue. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2004.

Engelhardt, Elizabeth. Republic of Barbecue: Stories beyond the Brisket. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2009.

Essig, Mark. Edison and the Electric Chair: A Story of Light and Death. New York: Walker & Company, 2004.

Ferris, Marcie Cohen. “We Didn’t Know from Fatback: A Southern Jewish Perspective on Barbecue.” (Appears in Cornbread Nation 2 and in a slightly different form in Ferris’s book Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South.)

Garner, Bob. Bob Garner’s Book of Barbecue: North Carolina’s Favorite Food. Winston Salem: John F. Blair, 2012.

Henderson, John Steele. “A Poor Dinner It Was: 1860 and the Politics of Barbecue.” Southern Cultures, spring 1995.

Hilliard, Sam Bowers. Hog Meat to Hoecake: Food Supply in the Old South, 1840–1860. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1972.

Kaminsky, Peter. Pig Perfect: Encounters with Remarkable Swine and Some Great Ways to Cook Them. New York: Hyperion, 2005.

Kenan, Randall. Let the Dead Bury Their Dead. New York: Harcourt, 1992.

Moss, Robert. Barbecue: The History of an American Institution. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2010.

Opie, Frederick Douglass. Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.

Ownby, Ted. American Dreams in Mississippi: Consumers, Poverty, and Culture, 1830-1998. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1999.

Reed, John Shelton, and Dale Volberg Reed, with William McKinney. Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2008.

Roahen, Sara. Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table. New York: Norton, 2008.

Rountree, Moses. The Success Story of Adam Scott, the “Barbecue King.” Goldsboro, NC: Nash Printing Company, 1977.

Seale, Bobby. Barbeque’n with Bobby. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 1988.

Singleton, George. Stray Decorum. Detroit: Dzanc Books, 2012.

Taylor, Joe Gray. Eating, Drinking, and Visiting in the South: An Informal History. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2008 (updated edition with a foreword by John Egerton.)

Thompson, Michael. “Everything but the Squeal: Pork as Culture in Eastern North  Carolina.” North Carolina Historical Review, vol. 82, issue 4 (2005).

Truong, Monique. Bitter in the Mouth. New York: Random House, 2010.

Veteto, James R., and Maclin, Edward M., eds. The Slaw and the Slow-Cooked: Culture and Barbecue in the Mid-South. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2012.

Walsh, Robb. Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook: Recipes and Recollections from the Pit Bosses. San Francisco: Chronicle, 2002.

Warnes, Andrew. Savage Barbecue: Race, Culture, and the Invention of America’s First Food. Athens: UGA Press, 2008.

York, Jake Adam. Persons Unknown. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2010.

Young, Kevin, ed. The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink. New York: Bloomsbury, 2012.

Oral History and Film Resources

The Southern Barbecue Trail: An SFA Documentary Project”     
Our filmmaker, Joe York, has made a number of documentaries about barbecue. All are available to stream at They are:

BBQBBQ is a short profile of Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Que, the origin point for white barbecue sauce, in Decatur, Alabama.

Capitol Q: Travel to Ayden, North Carolina’s Skylight Inn and meet the Jones family, cooking whole hog barbecue since the 1830s.

CUT/CHOP/COOK profiles Rodney Scott of Scott's Bar-B-Q in Hemingway, South Carolina.

Dial S for Sausage focuses on Southside Market in Elgin, Texas, and its famous hot links.

Helen’s Bar-B-Que is a celebration of pitmistress Helen Turner of Brownsville, Tennessee.

Mutton: The Movie focuses on Owensboro, Kentucky, where barbecued mutton is on the menu at Catholic church picnics and restaurants, too.

Something Better Than Barbecue documents the life and religious beliefs of Chuck Ferrell of Chuck’s Bar-B-Q in Opelika, Alabama.

To Live and Die in Avoyelles Parish celebrates Louisiana’s cochon du lait tradition—the Cajun equivalent of barbecue.

Whole Hog codifies whole hog barbecue culture in west-central Tennessee and showcases Ricky Parker of Scott’s-Parker’s Bar-B-Que in Lexington.

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Our friends at Foodways Texas have recently begun making short films as well. Check out Vencil Lives Here, a profile of octogenarian pitmaster Vencil Mares of Taylor Café, by filmmaker Keeley Steenson with additional camera work by Joe York. (Available at

Filmmaker Stan Woodward, who made the 1980 food-doc classic, It’s Grits!, gave similar treatment to South Carolina hash in the film Carolina Hash. (Available at


The short film Gravel Springs Fife and Drum by David Evans, Bill Ferris, and Judy Peiser documents the 1971 Otha Turner family picnic and goat roast.  (Available at

Download the 2010 album What Do I Do? By Sharde Thomas, granddaughter of Otha Turner, and current leader of Rising Star Fife and Drum, at Or read “Blues Traveler,” the May 17, 2012 New York Times Magazine profile of Thomas by Adam Fisher.

Otha Turner’s albums Everybody Hollerin’ Goat and From Senegal to Senatobia, recorded with the Afrosippi All-Stars, are available on iTunes and Spotify.