Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Reader 1

Lisa Cody

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This thesis examines the history of barbecue as a political institution in the United States. It pulls from a wide variety of cultural and political sources to trace the story of barbecue’s evolution in America from cooking structure to social gathering, and addresses barbecue’s varied political meanings and implementations from before the American Revolution through the twentieth century. Along the way, it discusses the ways in which barbecue as a political institution has been used to cultivate an American identity, played a role in the development of personality driven politics in the United States, and found itself at the center of debates over race and equality in America.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.