Reckoning With Appetite

deadline for submissions: 
November 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies, University of Iowa
contact email: 

Call for papers: 


The Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies is a fully open access peer-reviewed publication edited by graduate students at The University of Iowa that mixes traditional approaches and contemporary interventions in the interdisciplinary humanities and interpretive social sciences. This year’s issue will explore the boundaries that can challenge and facilitate interdisciplinary scholarship through an inquiry into reckoning with appetite. 


Appetites are intrinsically future-oriented, involving the inclination, disposition, or desire to satisfy desires or bodily needs. They can be directed toward food and drink, romance, sex, and consumption writ large. Our appetites tell us not only what we want from the world but how we orient ourselves in it. Beyond the individual self, appetites can also direct themselves towards fulfilling cultural and societal expectations. Once satiated, appetites dissolve for the time being, with the potential to return with new intensity. To reckon with appetite is to attempt to come to terms with, to give an account of, or to estimate one’s inclinations and/or the object(s) of one’s desire. But while appetites look forward, the act of reckoning can transcend that temporality to consider the past, present, and future of one’s drive toward satisfaction. Appetites may at times seem inappropriate, deviant, or superfluous, but are tied to both embodiment and everyday life.   


By turns, reckoning connotes confrontation, recognition, calculation, and explanation. It constitutes a process of grappling with opposing forces, without and/or within oneself. It may be a constant repositioning, or a moment of settling a score. It may be inflected with anger, hope, discovery, satisfaction, or even revenge. Appetites can reveal inclinations we wish to remain hidden, or which we take pride in (often framed as “healthy” or “unhealthy” appetites). Though we think of them as internal in a physiological or psychological sense, appetites—and the ways in which we attempt to regulate, manage, or reckon with them—can also be influenced by culture and social mores. As much as we try to regulate our own appetites, our appetites also regulate us. What we like, need, and desire illuminates prejudice and power structure as much as taste and preference. Reckoning with appetite, then, can reveal individual and systematic methods of control, consumption, and cathexis in our bodies and our cultures.   


This issue intends to explore ways in which appetite manifests itself in literature, art, film, history, religion, and popular culture. Some questions it may consider are: What are, if any, the limits of appetite? How do age, race, sex, and/or gender change cultural perceptions of appetites? What are the ways in which appetites are controlled, subdued, or appropriated? How do they connect and/or sever disciplines, departments, institutions, cultures, communities, systems, and categories? How can scholarship reckon with appetite within these physical and conceptual spaces and communities?  


Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:  

Politics and Popular Culture  

Food Studies  

Agricultural Studies and Food Production  

Environment and Ecocriticism  

Psychological and Sociological Studies  

Hybridity and Transnational Identities  

Desire and Consumption in/as Performance  

Queer Literature, Art, and Activism  

Humor, Horror, and the Carnivalesque  

Villainy and Monstrosity  

Taste and Aesthetics   

Sensation, Embodiment, and the Medical Humanities   

Global Expansion and Geopolitics   

Dieting, Fasting, and Cleansing     

Rape Culture  

Consumerism, Marketing, and Body Image 

Romance, Sex, and Pornography  

Exile, Immigration, and Homesickness  

Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies  

Psychoanalysis, Drives, and Repression  


Virtual Reality and Simulation and Mediation of Desire  

Fetishism, Voyeurism, Taboo, and Censorship  


Queer Literature, Art, and Activism  

Humor, Horror, and the Carnivalesque  

Deviance, Extralegality, and Criminality  


Paper must include a coversheet with the following:  

a) author name

b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in journal

c) contact information

d) paper title   

Papers should be submitted by November, 15, 2018 

Please email all submissions to: 

Accepted papers will be notified by December 15, 2018.  We acknowledge receipt and answer all papers submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week, please resend your document. 

For further details about the journal, visit: