Food in American Literature

deadline for submissions: 
September 1, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Jeff Birkenstein/Saint Martin's University

CFP: Food in American Literature

Proposals due September 1, 2021


We have accepted about 3/4 of the papers we need for an edited volume on food in American literature. We are seeking a handful of high-quality papers to complete the collection.


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 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, 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. 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 tboth food and American literature. Submission details below.


We are experienced academic writers and editors. We have four shared, co-edited volumes and a number of other books published as monographs separately or co-authored or co-edited with others. Our co-edited literary volumes include:

American Writers in Exile,;

Social Justice and American Literature,;

European Writers in Exile,;

Connections and Influence in the Russian and American Short Story,

To contribute to this volume, please submit a 250-500 word abstract and a CV (abbreviated is fine) by September 1, 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.

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