Feminist Friday event will discuss the American meat industry


Emily Morgan, assistant professor of art and visual culture at Iowa State, will discuss the American meat industry and its advertisements during this week’s Feminist Friday. 

Claire Hoppe

This week’s Feminist Friday will feature Emily Morgan who will be leading a discussion titled “Selling Meat to Mrs. Consumer in Midcentury America.”

Morgan, assistant professor of art and visual culture, will speak on some topics and information from the book she is currently working on, which focuses on the visual culture of the American meat industry.

“My talk on Friday is drawn from a chapter of the book that considers visual images as they’re used in advertising, as they circulated to an audience of the general public,” Morgan said.

While many might not consider the impact visual presentation has on the meat industry, Morgan said it plays a crucial part. In her presentation, Morgan will focus on how appealing visuals led to a drastic increase in meat consumption among Americans in the 20th century.

“Advertisements not only promoted products but demonstrated behavioral patterns of increased meat eating designed to generate — and successful in generating — actual, radical changes in consumers’ behavior,” Morgan said.

Morgan will talk about the different aspects that have an impact on the meat industry.

“I’ll discuss how gendered performances within racially homogenized spaces — performances of white femininity — constituted a central operational strategy of meat industry publicity,” Morgan said. “Taking meat from a luxury product to an everyday necessity between the mid-1920s and the mid-1960s.”

Morgan will also take a closer look at meat advertisements and ad campaigns from the early 20th century, including household names such as SPAM, Armour foods and Oscar Mayer.

The week’s Feminist Friday, hosted by the Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity, will be virtually at 1 p.m. The discussion is free for everyone, and you can register to attend here.