This presentation examines the many meanings of maple sugaring. Maple is enormously important to Vermont’s economy, ecology, and heritage. Champlain College professor Michael Lange will discuss sugaring ethnographically, based on over five years of research among sugarmakers all over the state, to learn from them what sugaring really means to Vermont.
Rather than discussing the practical aspects of sugaring, such as how to tap a tree or how an evaporator works, his talk focuses on how and why maple has become so important to Vermont’s identity, and how and why it helps us shape who we are as Vermonters.
About the Speaker
Dr. Michael Lange is a professor of anthropology and folklore at Champlain College in Burlington. He has authored several academic works on cultural identity.
His recent work draws on research with sugarmakers across Vermont and includes “Foodie Influence on the Culinary Meanings of Maple Syrup” and “Sweet Bedfellows: Continuity, Change, and Terroir in Maple Syrup”. His most recent book, Meanings of Maple, is available from the University of Arkansas Press, Phoenix Books, and other sources. Meanings of Maple was recently named a Choice “Outstanding Academic Title”.