On New Year’s Day 1802, the citizens of Cheshire, Massachusetts delivered a collectively made, 1235 pound cheese to the newly elected President Jefferson. They wanted to talk about freedom of religion and the importance of small farmers through an activity that was part of their normal routine – cheese-making. They collected the milk of all the 900 cows in town at one milking and produce a giant cheese roughly four feet wide.
We are flipping that around to ask what else do we learn when we learn to make a giant cheese in 2014? Who gets to be too big to fail? And why do some things become too big to participate in political discourse? And what do you actually need to make a cheese this size outside of a factory? While the original events are compelling in their own right, each is connected to discourses in early America that form basic assumptions about how political participation and representation function in US democracy.
We are making curds, collecting the stories and ideas of the curd-makers, and, ultimately, putting it all together into a wheel of cheese. Join in the curd-making!