Scott Barton

Scott Barton
  • New York University
  • Assistant Adjunct Professor of Food Studies
  • Faculty Fellow (2021-2022)
  • "Feeding the Gods: Sacred Nagô Culinary Culture in Northeastern Brazil"

Scott Alves Barton is an Assistant Adjunct Food Studies Professor at New York University. His research and manuscript project, Feeding the Gods: Sacred Nagô Culinary Religious Culture in Northeastern Brazil, is based on over a decade of research in Afro-Brazilian communities. Scott’s research, films, and publications focus on the intersection of secular and sacred cuisine as a marker of identity politics, cultural heritage, political resistance, women’s labor and knowledge, and self-determination in Northeastern Brazil.

Barton’s publications focus on cooking, culinary history, food and faith, Candomblé and Tambor de Mina religious rituals, and rites of passage. A sampling of Scott’s publications includes “Repasting: A Metonymy,” “Now You’re Eating Slave Food! A Genealogy of Feijoada, Race and Nation,” “A Book by Another Name Would Also Be Legible: The Limits of the Bibliography of African American Cookbooks,” and “Food for the Gods: Ewé òòò, á sà, Elogiar as Folhas—Praise the Leaves.”

During his 25-year tenure as executive chef, restaurant/product consultant, and culinary educator, Barton was named one of the top 25 best African/African American chefs by Ebony magazine. He is on the board of the Association for the Study of Food and Society, the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition, and the African Diaspora Religions Committee of the American Academy of Religion. He is also a member of the James Beard Foundation Cookbook Awards committee and an advisor to the Indigo Arts Alliance. Barton has been a fellow at the Instituto Sacatar, the Fundação Palmares in Brazil, the Institute for Critical Investigation at Vanderbilt University, the Tepoztlán Institute for Transnational History of the Americas, and is an ongoing fellow at Lynden Sculpture Garden in Milwaukee.


  • Radical Moves from the Margins: ‘Enslaved Entertainments’ and Harvest Celebrations in Northeastern Brazil

    Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2022

    Scott Barton

    Barton Brazil

    This collection of essays poses a series of questions revolving around nonsense, cacophony, queerness, race, and the dancing body. How can flamenco, as a diasporic complex of performance and communities of practice frictionally and critically bound to the complexities of Spanish history, illuminate theories of race and identity in performance? How can we posit, and argue for, genealogical relationships within and between genres across the vast expanses of the African—and Roma—diaspora? Neither are the essays presented here limited to flamenco, nor, consequently, are the responses to these questions reduced to this topic. What all the contributions here do share is the wish to come together, across disciplines and subject areas, within the academy and without, in the whirling, raucous, and messy spaces where the body is free—to celebrate its questioning, as well as the depths of the wisdom and knowledge it holds and sometimes reveals.

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