Food for Thought: Riddles and Riddling Ways Exhibit

enigmatic menus on displayGame board in display caseanimorphic mirror image of an elephantthe magic mirror printed on a wooden box containing illustrated cardscharacters from alice in wonderland in display caseAlice on displayitems in display caseopen book in display caseitems in display casealphabet tiles and games in display casealmanac with a magnifying glass

Explore different mealtime riddle practices in this curated exhibit of items from McGill’s Collections and beyond, and the way games, puzzles and play both educate and entertain.

One way to connect with family and friends is over a meal or a board game. Bonding over food and games is a practice that has been around for centuries. As this exhibition reveals, many 18th– and 19th-century communities gathered for dinners bountifully infused with play of all kinds to further their enjoyment of each other’s company. Among their favourite pastimes during meals was exchanging riddles.

These food-themed riddling practices facilitated social cohesion and served up a portion of humour alongside the main dishes. Riddle me this: Is the time ripe to bring them back into fashion?

Exhibition Curated by the SSHRC-sponsored Riddle Research Project Team including Nathalie Cooke, Leehu Sigler, with Kristen Howard, Octavian Sopt and Jacquelyn Sundberg.

Visit the Exhibit in the McLennan Library Building during Opening Hours. *N.B. The Library is open for University business only. Due to University directives, the Library is not open to the general public at this time. Vaccine Passport or Fast pass sticker AND a McGill ID card are required for building access.

Explore more Online:

Explore the Riddle Project’s Github site here:

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