Beth Holmgren Graduate Student Essay Prize

2015 Citation Recipient

Adrianne Jacobs

The Beth Holmgren Graduate Student Essay Prize, established in 1990 and named in honor of Professor Holmgren in 2021, is awarded for an outstanding essay by a graduate student in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

Winner: Adrianne Jacobs, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title: “An Edible Empire: Soviet National Cuisines between Tradition and Modernity, 1965-85”

Adrianne Jacobs’ essay, “An Edible Empire: Soviet National Cuisines between Tradition and Modernity, 1965-85,” explores national cuisines and their role in shaping late Soviet life with particular attention to cookbooks, as well as restaurants located in Moscow.

In this clearly written and engaging essay, Jacobs argues that the state-sponsored food culture of national cuisine became an important means of promoting Soviet life under Brezhnev as modern and cosmopolitan, while at the same time allowing food aficionados to recuperate and revel in national cultures. Her essay provides an insightful exploration into the ways culinary culture promoted both traditional and modern ways of life in the late Soviet era.

Jacobs draws from a rich selection of primary sources including archival documents on restaurants in the Moscow city archive, Soviet cookbooks, magazines and newspapers. Her essay makes a significant contribution to the growing historiography on late Soviet socialism and will be of interest to scholars from a variety of fields who examine the role of food in Soviet and Russian life.

Jacobs is currently an adjunct professor at the Mat-Su College of the University of Alaska Anchorage.