June 25, 2019
Steven Byrd, Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese, was invited to present his research on Brazilian food at the eighth Literary Festival of Araxá, one of the largest literary festivals of Brazil.
A recent article and book authored by Byrd caught the attention of the festival's organizers.
The article, "Comida Mineira: A 'cultural patrimony' of Brazil," was published in 2018 by the academic journal, Global Food History. His book, Calunga and the Legacy of an African Language in Brazil, was published in 2012 by University of New Mexico Press.
Organizers invited Byrd to present his research on Comida Mineira, the food of the State of Minas Gerais. Araxa, a municipality in western Minas Gerais, plays an important role in the state. Its coffee and cheeses are vital to the local economy.
On June 23, Byrd gave a talk about the history, cultural identity, politics, tourism and socioeconomic development related to the food of Minas Gerais. He also fielded questions from the audience about his linguistics background and research.