Major Department

International Studies


College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2018

Honors Major Advisor

Wentzell, Emily

Thesis Mentor

Chou, Cynthia


Food and foodways are inherent aspects of everyday life but their significance is often overlooked. The importance of food is that it embodies a multitude of deeper meanings that are intrinsic to the society that is consuming it. As a key factor in the culture of France, food provides the lens to understanding larger social aspects such as power and hierarchy. This lens will be used to analyze the reign of King Louis XIV of France, who established himself as an absolute monarch. Many works have appeared on food in France and many on the reign of King Louis XIV. Nevertheless, there is a gap in research to examine how a study of food might provide insight into the power of Louis XIV and hierarchy during a monarchy. By examining the symbolism of food, the cooks who prepared the food, and the etiquette surrounding French banquets, I argue that King Louis XIV used banquets as a way to manipulate others and establish power.


Louis XIV, France, food, foodways, power, commensality

Total Pages

43 pages


Copyright © 2018 Sophie Churchill