Geography and environment professor honored for knowledge of Greece

Geography and environment professor honored for knowledge of Greece

An international organization recognizing the best in food/wine books and media has honored a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Social Sciences (CSS) professor for her historical and ethnographic knowledge of Greece.

Marina Karides’ book, Sappho’s Legacy: Convivial Economics on a Greek Isle (SUNY Press), has won a 2023 Gourmand Award in the category of women and is representing Greece in the awards. She will be honored in May at the Umeå Food Symposium in Sweden, where she will also compete for the “Best in the World” award in the category of women. Her book, along with two other publications, was selected from a field of 12 finalists to compete for this award.

“I am excited by this recognition because Gourmand Award winners have increased opportunities for their research to reach public audiences with a growing interest in our food systems,” said Karides, professor of geography and environment.

Sappho’s Legacy has been described as “imaginatively interweaving literature across a variety of subjects” while illuminating the crucial role played by island societies and capitalism’s failures and the alternatives available in the Greek economic culture. In particular, the book examines women’s food cooperatives and micro-entrepreneurs in Greece.

“At the heart of Sappho’s Legacy is the recognition that in borderland spaces, such as Greece and islands, and often by peripheralized social groups, flexible economic practices are created most often via small enterprises, especially those along the food system,” added Karides. “This book documents an important period of Greek history, from 2008 to 2016, through the perspective of islanders and takes a deep dive into their experiences and the crises they faced during this time.”

Sappho was a Greek poet from the island of Lesvos who was known for her lyrical poetry and her love of women.

Research in international wines

Karides’ research at CSS takes an intersectional feminist approach toward island societies, alternative economics, and racially and ethnically diverse communities. She is currently researching natural wines in Italy, South Africa, and the U.S. to assess as an example of convivial economics—activities that protect the environment while contributing to the welfare of communities—may transform the mainstream wine industry.

Natural wines, derived from spontaneous fermentation with little to no intervention in processing and dependent on organic agriculture, have been popular in Europe for about two decades for their taste, and environmental and societal reasons. They have attracted increased attention in California and New York as well as globally.

More on the award

Founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau, the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards is the major food culture event that honors the best food and drink information published around the world. Winning entries are selected for their overall appeal and international point of view. More than 100,000 screened books and publications from some 230 countries and regions competed for the 2023 Gourmand Awards.


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