Jen Watkins

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The Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook: A Digital Map of Faith and Food in Islamic Spain
My project examines the overlap between trade and religion in medieval Islamic Spain. Traducción española de un manuscrito anónimo del siglo XIII sobre la cocina hispano-magribi, an anonymous culinary guide initially compiled in the 13th century, is distinct from other European cookbooks of the same period. It hails from al-Andalus, a region of Spain that, at the time, was under Islamic rule and the site of an unusual degree of intermingling between its Christian, Jewish, and Muslim citizens. Treating the book as a microhistorical object, I intend to trace the trajectories of specific spices and ingredients, from their countries of origin to their ultimate role in each of faith communities of al-Andalus. To better understand the impact of certain foodstuffs on the social and religious fabric of medieval Spain, I intend to create a layered map that simultaneously traces trade routes and contrasts them against Spanish faith communities.

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