Feminism and Food Media
Food media have become exponentially popular throughout the 21st century, with growth in the production and consumption of digital ‘food porn,’ cookbooks and content in the food blog- and vlogospheres. Across these diverse formats, food media have long been recognized as artifacts that reference culturally- and historically-specific ideals of gender at the same time that they offer instructional food pedagogies. For instance, scholars have pointed out the links between food preparation rituals and the performance of gender from the hypermasculinization of barbeque to the feminized daintiness of baking desserts, and from ideas about the gendered organization of food labor to the embodied pleasures of food porn.
While feminist scholars have been ambivalent in their interpretations of how such food media and foodwork impacts feminism, historically food media have provided one of the few avenues for women’s media production to be considered authoritative and have been formative in disseminating feminist politics. Due to the simultaneously mundane and omniscient qualities of food, it has the potential to be deployed as a political tool in subversive and specific ways. Additionally, due to the rich gender, racial and class information encoded within mediated foods, they are important objects for interrogating ideas about identity, place and community.
This guest edited issue of Commentary and Criticism seeks to highlight the diverse ways in which food media intersects with feminist politics, with particular attention to the use of food media as a response to the contemporary media and political landscape. Ideas for essay topics might include (but are not limited to):
- the growth of user-generated food media and examples of their orientation towards diverse feminist and food aims
- the interplay of authenticity, gender and race in ‘immigrant’ food and discussions of cultural appropriation
- relationships between gender, place and food media
- the rise of the ‘crunchy mama’ and the (classed, racialized) moral panic surrounding certain foods
- discourses of orthorexia and healthism, and their invocation of gendered ideas surrounding appetites and bodies
- farmer’s markets and fights over access to and equality within these spaces
- the market for ethical food choices and their mediations in ways that implicate gender, class and race
- embodied and technological histories of food cultures
- the cult of amateurism in food media - in response to the celebrity chef phenomenon of early lifestyle media – and its implications for gendered labor.
We are particularly interested in submissions from beyond North America and the UK.
The Commentary and Criticism section of Feminist Media Studies aims to publish brief (~1000 words), timely responses to current issues in feminist media culture, for an international readership. Submissions may pose a provocation, describe work in progress, or propose areas for future study. We will also consider book and event reviews, as well as contributions that depart from traditional academic formats. We encourage all submissions to strategically mobilize critique to also offer a productive contribution to both feminist politics and media studies. Submissions must go beyond mere description in order to be considered for publication in Commentary and Criticism.
Please submit full contributions by 5 March 2018, via email to Dr. Tisha Dejmanee (firstname.lastname@example.org). Questions and expressions of interest can also be addressed to Dr. Dejmanee in advance of the deadline.
Email submissions directly to Dr. Dejmanee, as submissions for Commentary and Criticism will not be correctly processed if submitted through the main Feminist Media Studies site.
Please be sure to follow the Feminist Media Studies style guide, which can be found at the following link: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/journal.asp?issn=1468-0777&linktype=44