CFP: Culinary Aesthetics and Practices in 19th-Century American Literature (6/15/07; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Monika Elbert

CFP: Culinary Aesthetics and Practices in 19th-Century American
Literature (6/15/07; collection)

We are writing to solicit articles for a collection on 19th century
American literature and food culture. The focus of the collection will
address the meaning and importance of food and the scenes of eating for
19th century American writers. What are the social, political, literary
implications of scenes and sites of food? For what effect do authors
employ culinary discourse in their work? How do references to foodways
or culinary traditions influence public perceptions of race, class, and

For the purposes of this project, we invite articles that take an
interdisciplinary approach in their analysis and discussion; however, we
prefer that submissions maintain consideration of the intersections
between food study and the American literary tradition. In order to
extend discussion beyond exploration of women's roles and relationships
with food, a traditional vein in food scholarship, we are equally
interested in contributions that discuss male and female

  <>Possible themes or topics include:

-- writers' use of foodstuffs as symbol or trope

-- scenes around the dinner table or table talk

-- food writing (recipes, domestic manuals, cookbooks)

-- the influence of culinary traditions on nation building ideologies

-- the use of employment of food/eating/cooking by marginalized writers
or characters

-- food and regional or geographical identity

  <>Some questions or topics to consider (though the list is not
How do notions of food and food preparation relate to ideas of
nationality, group identity, politics, or class?
How do American writers touring Europe respond to European cuisine while
abroad, and how do literary travelers from Europe respond to American
How are depictions of food used as forms of social protest? Of social
How are rifts in political thinking depicted through food (e.g., North
and South during the Civil War)?
Is there a gendering of food? How do male and female writers deal with
issues of food/feast/famine in their works?
How is the aesthetics of Transcendentalism related to vegetarianism?
How do images of food enter American children's fiction or non-fiction,
and what do they represent?
Is there a right way to eat? How do good manners enter the text, and
what do they tell us about accepted norms? Social pretensions?
Is there a way to misbehave with food? What creates heartburn at the
dinner table?

Please send a 750-1000 word abstract or a full article to Monika Elbert
( <>) and
Marie Drews ( by June 15. Articles should be between
5000-7000 words (not including bibliography) and should be prepared in
MLA format. Upon acceptance, articles will be due Oct. 15. We invite

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Received on Mon Mar 19 2007 - 14:36:15 EST