Coming to Our Food Senses: Narratives in Food and Body
Coming to Our Food Senses: Narratives in Food and Body seeks to further expand on ideas of food consciousness, the body, culture, the senses, and embodiment. Food is typically regarded as a mundane and unassuming part of everyday life. Yet food as a critical subject of analysis leads us to explore how the body and the mind are intertwined, creating a complex philosophical understanding of a what it means to have a personal, familial, and cultural sense of self.
Focusing primarily on embodiment, an epistemological process of knowing through the senses, sensations, and movement, this conference examines how food practices are linked to experiences and recollections of such that shape people’s identity politics. Explicitly and implicitly, food sits at the center of these politics and offers a central lens through which people express, interrogate, and recreate their senses of self as an individual and member of society at large.
For some, food acts as an anchor that roots them in a sense of shared heritage and culture; for others, it is a sight that carries the marks of change and displacement. It can signify the insider and the outsider, or the hybrid subject who moves between borders and reflects multiple strands of identity. For all of us, food acts as a bridge between our diverse communities and ourselves. Engaging with texts derived primarily from the tradition of memoir, this conference seeks to identify the process by which a person develops a food consciousness that allows for a critical recognition and interpretation of the histories embedded in food practices. This embodied food awareness manifests in how culinary performance is enacted, by how foods are either consumed or rejected, by understanding how food acts as a fluctuating and contested territory where issues of memory, embodiment, justice, and identity are constantly shifted and negotiated.