Name * Julie Kappelman Title of Research Project : Not Just Sex That Sells: Religious References and Rhetoric in Contemporary Beer Branding 1.) Reflectively describe your literature research process. Tell us how you used library resources or services of any kind (from ILL to online databases to archives collections to meeting with your liaison librarian). * I began with the desire to conduct an analysis of contemporary beer branding techniques that used religious allusions. To successfully accomplish this task, I needed to contextualize this feature historically as well as within the modern beer industry. Thus, I undertook a study of the history of beer brewing in which I focused upon key moments and periods. Requisite for my later efforts was an understanding of the relationship between beer and society in medieval Europe, Prohibitionist United States, and modern America. This study illuminated the employment of saints, Satanic figures, and other items of religious derivation. The exercise comparing attitudes and practices in different periods enabled me to forge linkages as well as note discrepancies. I then coupled this knowledge with research on the modern beer industry and consultation of advertising theory. My objective also entailed tracing theories exploring the connection between food and religion. Although systematic, my literature research process was not linear but dynamic, cyclical, and reflective. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of my project, I spoke with three liaison librarians who were able to assist with different components of my research. The liaisons helped me find sources and also improve my own searching capacities. The University’s Special Collections also provided access to advantageous material. I also spoke with university professors within relevant fields for their counsel on what texts they considered crucial to include. In my research process, I constantly re-evaluated what sources would be most significant and rearranged priorities based on my findings. With different search terms, I repeatedly queried larger online databases such as Academic Search Premier and JSTOR as well as subject-specific databases such as ATLA, Business Source Complete, and Polling the Nations. The library’s encyclopedias and book collection were fundamentally helpful. From the Collins Catalog, I perused the titles of works owned by the University, Summit libraries, and WorldCat libraries. I utilized each of these three tiers of the Collins Catalog over the course of the summer. When a source was helpful, I also consulted the LOC headings to find texts with similar aims. 2.) Tell us about a challenge you faced while doing literature research and how you overcame it. * Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the proposal, I struggled with a paucity of data that pertained directly to my selected topic. To resolve this issue, I identified relevant components and then integrated this information in my analysis. I familiarized myself with historical, theoretical, artistic, and economic viewpoints to discuss the modern marketing strategy. The most significant challenge emerged in my study of the contemporary beer industry. No comprehensive database of breweries and their beer exists that would enable quantitative analysis of the technique’s prevalence, identification of motivations, or notable correlations to other variables such as geographical region (i.e., Does the religiosity of the locale correspond with differing rates of this technique’s employment and success? Is this strategy employed with more or less frequency in the Pacific Northwest than it is in the South?), and quantitative measurements of annual production and consumption variables did not address this inquiry. I endeavored to develop the absent inventory by using materials published online and in print by enthusiasts and breweries. Sifting through popular source materials enabled me to compile pertinent data. Like Robert Gottschalk, an author of American Breweries who assisted its revision in American Breweries II, I found myself “pouring through every reference known to man to come up with the most accurate assemblage of data humanly possible” within the allotted time frame. I agree with Roland Barthes’ assertion that “[i]nformation about food must be gathered wherever it can be found: by direct observation in the economy, in techniques, usages, and advertising; and by indirect observation of the mental life in a given society” (167, “Toward a Psychosociology of Contemporary Food Consumption”). I supplemented my literature research with field work. I independently read Research Methods in Anthropology (the textbook used in CSOC/SOAN’s Social Research classes) at the beginning of the summer to ensure that I would conduct valid work. Engaging with participants in the beer industry enabled quick edification of misrepresentations and ensured that I was accurately presenting the material. Regularly discussing the process with my advisor, other grant recipients, and other individuals also helped me develop my analysis. This project’s scope restricted my ability to extensively invest myself in a single historical period or overextend my energies into facets of the modern beer industry that were less pertinent to my analysis. For instance, I developed general itemized guidelines for different beer branding techniques but could not dwell upon their relative prevalence or success. I maintained accountability with the Tufts University Research Navigator, which set deadlines for completing different tasks. I set the due date a month prior to the actual deadline so I could minimize the deleterious effects of unforeseen circumstances. I accorded as much attention to each facet as I could and adjusted due dates as necessary but roughly adhered to the established temporal guidelines. Eventually, I accepted remaining lacunae as projects for subsequent scholars to fill. In the composition of my analysis, I still considered the remaining gaps and gestured towards the benefits of additional inquiry when applicable. 3.) How does your research contribute to the scholarly conversation in your field? What is the significance of your research, in layperson’s terms? * The study of religion and food has received comparatively little academic attention. For instance, texts by Rudolph Bell and Caroline Walker Bynum that discuss the ‘holy anorexia’ of medieval females renowned for their religiosity highlight a facet of medieval religious history that has been overlooked in the pervading discourse about theological and intellectual components of religious history and practice. To contribute to this developing field and warrant the merits of this approach, I chose to cover an element that had not been considered. Analysis of the religious references in contemporary beer branding intrigues and convinces skeptics of the value of forging an academic approach considering the relationship between food and religion. This initial endeavor provides groundwork for later academic work regarding a topic otherwise discarded by an assumed dearth of significance. The invocation of "St. Something" and other religious depictions reveals underlying attitudes about religion, society, the individual, and beliefs of the proper roles of each. My analysis also contributes to discourse about contemporary society, popular malaise and discontent towards industrialization, and modern status politics.