Food in American Literature (Deadline July 20, 2021)

deadline for submissions: 
July 20, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Saint Martin's University

CFP: Food in American Literature

Proposals due July 20, 2021



It seems as if food runs our lives. And, indeed, it might. Sure, we need to eat to survive, but we all know that food is usually so much more. Food is sometimes glorious. Yet, food can also be a periodic or daily struggle, to acquire, to prepare, to consume. Food is something many of us somehow take for granted, even as we struggle with deciding what to eat every day…indeed, multiple times a day!  Food is also identity and culture; it is narrative and story. Food is gain and loss; comfort and distress; extravagance and austerity; colonialism and imperialism; and on and on. We are, then, seeking essays on the narrative, cultural, ideological, and political issues relating to food and American literature for a new collection of essays. 

 Given the ubiquity of food in our bodies and our stories and our culture(s), it is no surprise, then, that from the very beginnings of literature in the United States the representation of food has been an important contributing narrative factor in countless (con)texts. Sometimes food is merely present because literature is about people and people must eat. But sometimes—often—food in literature is something much more, and it is such narratives that we want to consider in this edited collection. Food has the ability to propel a narrative, to describe a character, to undergird a plot to...

Significant food in literature—that is, food that is integral to the narrative being told—is worthy of further analysis. The goal of this edited collection, then, is to encourage an in-depth, multivalent, relevant, and current conversation regarding the intersection of both food and American literature. Submission details below.

To contribute to this volume, please submit a 250-500 word abstract and a CV (abbreviated is fine) by July 20, 2021. Email MS Word documents to both of us (Jeff Birkenstein & Robert Hauhart Also, of course, please don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might have. In advance, thank you for your interesting ideas; we look forward to learning from you.

Thank you.

Jeff Birkenstein & Robert Hauhart
Saint Martin's University
5000 Abbey Way, SE
Lacey, Washington, USA  98503