Food and Identity

full name / name of organization: 
Marta Hess/SAMLA
contact email: 

Food identifies us. The ways in which we prepare, consider, consume, discuss, and build traditions around food and foodways all contribute to the ways that we see ourselves and that others see us. Food and the rituals that surround it can both unite and divide us. Janet Theophano in Eat My Words notes the stories that women tell through the cookbooks they write, and in Hungering for America, Hasia Diner connects identity, food, and the immigration experience. Additionally, films demonstrate the performance aspects of food: Big Night and Like Water for Chocolate entice viewers with their lush images, while at the same time they signify stormy family issues.
This panel will explore and investigate aspects of food and identity in memoir, rhetoric, fiction, poetry, performance, and film. The focus of papers might include cookbooks, recipes, food production, and the current interest in regional foods and the slow food movement. Please send 200-250 word abstracts to Marta Hess at by May 1, 2011.