At one time a reviled commodity — and banned in 1919 as part of Prohibition — beer has become a familiar presence in American life. Just try to imagine a picnic, party or sporting event without the ubiquitous bottle, can or mug in hand.
In a talk next Thursday, Lisa Jacobson, professor of history at UCSB, will examine beer's remarkable transformation from societal scourge to popular potable. Jacobson will focus on World War II as a key turning point in changing the way Americans thought about beer.
Her talk, "Beer: From Prohibition to America's Emblem of the Good Life?" will begin at 6 p.m. at the Wine Cask restaurant, 813 Anacapa St. in Santa Barbara. The program, part of UCSB's Culture and Nature Series, will give the community an opportunity to hear a fascinating story while enjoying the products of Santa Barbara's vibrant food culture.
Jacobson's talk is the first event in the Culture and Nature series. The series will continue through the academic year with events designed to highlight the interrelation between nature and the environment and religion, art, literature and other fields within the humanities and fine arts.
"The series examines how people interact with nature, and how that interaction shapes our world," said John Majewski, professor of history and associate dean of humanities and fine arts in the College of Letters and Science. He is organizing the event with Stefania Tutino, professor of religious studies and history and associate dean of humanities and fine arts at UCSB.
"Humanists have something to say about how societies and cultures interpret nature and how the natural environment impacts society," Majewski said. "Our faculty members are excited about sharing their research with a broad community audience."
Tutino added: "Humanists often can study issues related to nature and society and make sense of them in a way that scientists can't."
The various events in the series, some to be co-sponsored by the Wine Cask restaurant, and others by the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, will take a culinary approach to cultural dimensions relevant to the Santa Barbara community and food culture, or provide compelling dialogue about the environment and sustainability. Each will feature the research of UCSB scholars who are actively engaged in understanding the historical and cultural importance of their particular topics.
Tickets for "Beer: From Prohibition to America's Emblem of the Good Life?" are $50. For more information, call the Wine Cask at 805.966.9463.