In “The Urban Food Database and the Pedagogy of Attunement” Jody Nicotra points out that food discourse is enjoying a social and political heyday. Nicotra’s piece itself exhibits a bit of this acquisitive strategy, this database logic. It pairs nicely with David Harvey’s “he Body as Accumulation Strategy,” which I arrived at via Laruen Berlant’s “Slow Death (Sovereignty, Obesity, Lateral Agency),” which I arrived at via another chapter in this volume, Jenny Rice’s (Un)Lovable Food. But it is not just the logic of the database that Nicotra is talking about. That is, the database is not merely an apt metaphor. It is the underlying technology that makes possible such a movement as “freeganism.”
In the article “Counterintuitive: How the Marketing of Modernism Hijacked the Kitchen Stove” in From Betty Crocker to Feminist Food Studies: Critical Perspectives on Women and Food,Leslie Land writes about how the aesthetic of the continuous kitchen counter and smooth sleek lines transformed the kitchen into a more “designed” though less functional space. I suppose […]
“During theGerman siege of Leningrad, which lasted for nearly nine hundred days, over one million people died of starvation and related causes; nearly 200,000 died in February alone. The resourceful womean of Leningrad painstakingly retrieved old flour dust from the cracks in the floorboards and licked decades of spattered grease from the kitchen walls, savoring it slowly. (144) “
Recipes are a good example of how mimesis operates in relation to food. Recipes are cultural representations of real food. It is a commonplace to talk about how recipes passed down through generations are a way of maintaining traditions and cultures in families and larger social units. But as quaint as bequeathing recipes is, there are also more calculated deployments of recipes. Corporations have a long history of deploying recipes in the form of corporate cookbooks to sell their products.
The story itself is simple; it has to do with a guy who really likes yogurt he gets at the farmers merket. But what it does with genre is a bit more complicated. As suggested above, Stern mixes research, fiction, rhetoric, and a little bit of psychoanalysis for good measure. But the little bit of psychoanalysis is really what the piece seems to be all about. He writes, merely, “I was suffering from what Žižek as a diagnostician, might call surplus-jouissance.
In “Food for Thought” Philip Foss writes at the intersection of food and religion. Foss, a Jewish chef who keeps a kosher home, but still loves bacon and lobster when out in the world, sees himself as “a chef first, and a good Jew second.” But when a rabbi asked him to describe a spiritual […]
In the complex, ecological perspectives that have begun to refashion the way humans situate themselves in the world, the human is displaced from the center. (Displaced is perhaps the wrong word, given that he was only ever central in his own mind.) Human activities–cooking, writing–are not hierarchical but lateral and interconnected. If we are what we eat, then perhaps what we eat becomes what we write.
Last year my goal was to do a podcast a week. I didn’t quite make it, but I got close enough to feel good about it. So I’m going to set a new goal. I’m going to do a post on an article or book chapter every day, Monday through Friday. Starting today. Ideally, I will have read these and be able to talk about them if you bump into me in person. But at the very least, I’m going to provide a citation, a representative blockquote, and a list of other readings, watchings, and doings referenced by the article or chapter.