May 11, 2021
The University of Arizona Press celebrated the launch of Famine Food: Plants We Eat to Survive, by Paul E. Minnis on Wednesday, May 5. Minnis is the author or editor of fourteen books, and is a professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. Now living in Tucson, Arizona, he is a visiting scholar in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. The virtual event included author Nancy Turner, an ethnobotanist and Distinguished Professor Emerita with the School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada.
In conversation, Turner asked Minnis about his book, inspirations, his work as an ethnobotonist, and of course, Famine Foods, which includes fourteen short case studies that examine the use of alternative foods in human societies throughout the world, from hunter-gatherers to major nations. When environmental catastrophes, war, corrupt governments, annual hunger seasons, and radical agricultural policies have threatened to starve populations, cultural knowledge and memories of food shortages have been crucial to the survival of millions of people.