AZ time

Cost: $195.00 for 6 session(s) 6 sessions using scheduled video links with Zoom Intro and Zoom Q & A session following each presentation

Type: In Person



Hosted by David Yetman and Janos Wilder

David Yetman and Janos Wilder

Join us for a series of six virtual lunch dates with James Beard award winning chef Janos Wilder and David Yetman, host of the PBS travel/adventure series In the Americas and The Desert Speaks. Engaging culinary demonstrations plus presentations by UA faculty on topics that define the Sonoran Desert will provide an unforgettable taste of the Southwest. 

Each session will begin with a cooking demonstration featuring a dish created by Janos to accompany the presentation. Participants will receive a copy of the recipe for each session.

Register for the six-session series ($195) or select individual sessions ($36 per session).

Session 1: Fri, Sept 25, noon – 1:30 pm AZ time
Prehistoric Menus are New Again: Ancestral Desert Foods as a Springboard to Our Future
As global food and seed supply chains are being broken and reconfigured after the pandemic to better assure food security, safety and nutrition, it is probable that our food system will undergo rapid transformation. Ironically, fresh understandings of how prehistoric indigenous diets protected communities from drought, disease and heat loads are now being used as a springboard to design new agricultural systems and diets to adapt to a hotter, drier, more uncertain world. As Mexican ethnobotanist Patricia Colunga has prophesized, “Charting our future may take us back to our ancestral roots.” 
Instructor: Gary Nabhan
Register for Individual Session

Session 2: Friday, Oct 2, noon – 1:30 pm AZ time
Small Town and the Big Screen: The Early History of Tucson in Cinema
This session will provide an overview of the early days of cinema production and exhibition in Tucson, with clips from silent and sound films and a layout of Tucson’s downtown theatre-scape for both English and Spanish language cinema. We’ll trace representations of space, place, and identity in the first 40 years of Tucson onscreen.
Instructor: Jennifer Jenkins
Register for Individual Session

Session 3: Friday, Oct 9, noon – 1:30 pm AZ time
Mountains and Saguaros: Why the Plants Love the Hills
The Santa Catalina, Rincón, and Tucson Mountains are home to Arizona’s densest population of saguaro cacti and some of the richest Sonoran Desert habitat anywhere.  The mountains around Tucson–the Santa Catalinas, the Rincons, and the Tucson Mountains are part of the saguaro story, and explain why the Tucson area has an archaeological history going back four thousand years.  How these mountains came to be is part of the story of how our homeland came to be.
Instructor: David Yetman
Register for Individual Session

Session 4: Friday, Nov 6, Noon – 1:30 pm AZ time
From Translator to Traitor: La Malinche as a Feminist Icon in the Borderlands
La Malinche, Malintzin, was a Nahua young woman, who is often impugned for her role as translator and advisor to Hernán Cortés, the Spanish conqueror of Mexico in 1519.  History has continued to hold her captive, mythologizing her so much that to be called Malinchista is equivalent to being named a traitor to one’s culture.  Why is this cultural icon disparaged and can a feminist critique help us to understand how that debasement continues to imprint the borderlands?
Instructor: Emma Pèrez
Register for Individual Session

Session 5: Friday, Oct 23, noon – 1:30 pm AZ time
Cactus-studded Coasts: Reconnecting to the Gulf of California
The Gulf of California is the desert’s sea. Tucked between the Baja California peninsula and the mainland of Mexico, the Gulf is a world of contrasts between cactus studded coasts and a marine realm teaming with life. It is a place of cultural diversity, especially as the homeland of the Comcaac (Seri People), and a zone where remarkable geologic forces have created a landscape mirrored nowhere else. In this lecture Ben Wilder will share what makes the Gulf of California one of the most striking desert regions of the world.
Instructor: Ben Wilder
Register for Individual Session

Session 6: Friday, Oct 30, noon – 1:30 pm AZ time
Documenting the Dead: Forensics, Mourning, and Testimony along the US-Mexico Border
Since the year 2000, an unprecedented number of people have died while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. While exact numbers for the entire border are unknown, in Arizona alone more than 3,200 cases of human remains have been discovered along migrant trails in the desert during this time period. This talk will discuss the work of forensic experts, activists, families, and others to document these deaths and remember the victims. This local work has been innovative and unique, but also draws inspiration and direction from past movements to name and remember lives lost to violence. In this talk, Dr. Reineke will consider the similarities and differences between historic social movements to remember the dead after atrocity, including the role of forensic science, and the current work done in the borderlands to document and mourn the lives lost.
Instructor: Robin Reineke
Register for Individual Session


Proceeds from this series will support the work being done by Borderlands Restoration Network to provide medical supplies and greatly needed relief to the Seri indigenous people in Sonora in their struggle with Covid-19.


Co-sponsored by the University of Arizona
Southwest Center and the Desert
Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill.

Southwest Center


Register for Food for Thought – Virtual Lunch Dates

Online registration has been closed for this class. Please call (520) 777-5817 for information.