Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Kathleen Collins

Kathleen Collins is an experienced author and researcher who has studied and written about television, media history, popular culture and food. Her work has appeared in the magazines Working Woman and Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture and in the anthology Secrets & Confidences: The Complicated Truth About Women’s Friendships.

Her book is Watching What We Eat: A Long Look at Television Cooking Shows.

From a Q & A at her website:

What made you decide to write this book?

I think television cooking is a genre that has been unfairly overlooked. It’s been around as long as television has, but it has no biography. Unlike reality TV, a genre which seemed to transform our prime time viewing habits overnight and which has spawned lots of books, cooking shows are taken for granted and are easy to overlook, like part of the woodwork. I think they deserve more attention, especially since they’ve exploded in the last decade and a half in terms of volume and popularity. And the fact that most people assume that Julia Child was the host of the first television cooking indicates a disturbing gap in American popular culture knowledge!

The horror! So you’re telling me Julia Child was not the first?

She is the first name and face that most people remember or think of - with good reason - but there were many before her, almost twenty years earlier. But certainly no one who had all the goods like she did.

How did you research this book?

I spent...[read on]
Read an excerpt from Watching What We Eat, and learn more about the book and author at the Watching What We Eat website.

The Page 99 Test: Watching What We Eat.

--Marshal Zeringue