Why Latkes Can Be Considered a Form of Art: A Short Manifesto

Latke chefs Benjy and Marissa

As the days get colder and the academic calendar turns away from classes and towards exams, the beginning of December often brings more solitude than it does company.  I suspect I’m not the only one who experiences the seemingly paradoxical cocktail of retrospective wistfulness and a sense of gradually impending doom that defines the end of the semester.  But the members of Edwards Collective provided the antidote in the form of a socially-distanced latke-making study break in the basement of Edwards Hall, we were greeted with the faint sounds of a mixture of Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs.  Benjy and Marissa, the organizers of the event, distributed onions and potatoes to grate in shifts (which, as I found, is an excellent way to work through one’s frustrations), which we would later fry to make the latkes.  Casual conversation drifted through the air just like the smell of the latkes, which we ate with either sour cream or applesauce (there was some debate as to which one was recognized as the more legitimate condiment).  All in all, the respite provided by this study break was a welcome addition to the semester.

Since the Edwards Collective is an arts and humanities collective, we focus in our reflections primarily on events that directly involve the arts and/or the humanities.  I’ve broken convention slightly to focus on an event that fostered another key aspect of the Edwards Collective — the collective itself.  One of the major defining factors of art in this community is that it brings us together as a group — it’s one of the things that we all enjoy producing or interacting with.  Given this, who’s to say that latkes, which brought us together in a moment of collaborative creation which we were able to partake of and enjoy, do not constitute a form of art as well?

–Katie Hameetman