Drive-Thru America: A Culinary History of the Fast Food Industry and How It Shapes Our Lives

Georgetown University

Marcia Chatelain is Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University. The author of South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration, Chatelain is a public voice on the history of African American children, race in America, as well as social movements. She has been quoted in articles in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post, and has appeared on local television and national outlets including C-SPAN, MSNBC, CNN, BBC-America, and PBS. In 2016, Chatelain was named a “Top Influencer in Higher Education,” by the Chronicle of Higher Education. She is currently the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C.


Winner, Pulitzer Prize for History June 2021


The History of American Fast Food

From the early days of the White Castle slider to the Chipotle burrito, Americans adore fast food. Fast food is about more than just a quick bite; fast food history helps us understand the transformations in the way we eat, work, and live.  In this presentation, historian Marcia Chatelain, author of Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America, will take you through more than a century of business innovation, changing palates, and hours of commercials.  Fast food provides a lens for understanding what we value and how we savor it. Join in the conversation if you have an appetite for learning more about your favorite roadside stops, jingles, and French fries.

Learn More About The History Of Fast Food Restaurants

Learn more about the fast food industry by checking out other great videos at OneDayU, including ‘The Psychology of Money, ‘Famous American Symbols & Their History& ‘Visual Awareness & Selective Attention’ all on-demand now.



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Jeffrey Kudsk

I am hangry

Great overview of a massive industry that we all, at some time, have utilized.
Presenter was very knowledgable and had an easy and quite understandable
delivery. i learned a lot.

1 year ago
Lyn Rosen

well done

Very interesting indeed. I had never thought much about political aspects of this industry, for one thing. Good to know about this, even though I don’t personally eat any of this food!

1 year ago
Robert England

Fast Food...given by Marcia Chatelain

Really knew her subject matter. Very easy to listen to. Hope to hear more from her on One Day University.

1 year ago
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