CONWAY, Ark. (November 8,
2017) – Dr. Stacey Schwartzkopf, the Charles S. and Lucile Esmon Shively
Odyssey Associate Professor of Anthropology at Hendrix College, has co-edited a
book due for release in November.
& Seduction: Ingested Commodities in Early Modern Mesoamerica (University of Texas Press), co-edited by
Schwartzkopf and Kathryn E. Sampeck, explores how social, economic, cultural,
and political forces influenced the desire for certain ingestibles in the early
modern period. The book’s eventual contributors came together at the 2014
meeting of the American Society of Ethnohistory, with presentations from their
own academic perspectives—history, cultural anthropology, historical
archaeology—that reflected upon the significance of a variety of substances, including
alcohol, chocolate, sugar, tobacco, and hallucinogens.
“Everyone who came to that
session wound up contributing,” said Schwarzkopf, who contributed a chapter on
fermented and distilled drinks in colonial Maya Guatemala. “We discovered we
had a good mix of interdisciplinary folks who could achieve that broader focus
in a regional context. Very rarely have these substances all been considered
together in this part of the world.”
“It was exciting to work
with such an excellent group of scholars, but the best part was editing with
Stacey,” said Sampeck, who is an associate professor of anthropology at
Illinois State University. “He made even the tedious tasks enjoyable.”
Through his Odyssey
professorship, Schwartzkopf has focused on material culture, and on fostering
an environment that encourages students to pursue interdisciplinary
scholarship. In addition to incorporating material culture into many classes, next
year he will be teaching a course also titled Substance and Seduction, further
connecting his research to the classroom.
“In learning how things are
consumed and appreciated, students begin to see how studying material culture
can be a way to make sense of the world,” he said.
Sampeck, a historical
archaeologist whose work has a focus on the study of cacao, co-contributed a
chapter on chocolate.
“People often eat, drink,
and smoke at the same time, yet those substances followed different paths to
get to that moment of ingestion. I think the volume shows the importance of
considering all of these substances together,” she said. “The sum is much
greater than the individual parts.”
Since distribution of
preview copies began in October, Schwartzkopf and Sampeck already have heard from
one professor interested in adopting the book as a text for an upcoming course.
& Seduction is
available through the University of Texas Press, Amazon, and other retail outlets. Other contributors include Martin
Nesvig, Jonathan Thayn, Joel W. Palka, Joan Bristol, and Guido Pezzarossi, with
the foreword by Marcy Norton and the afterword by Carla D. Martin.
A private liberal arts
college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as
one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That
Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and
rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous
college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been
affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu.