Final CFP: Food on the Home Front, Food on the Warfront: Conflict and the American Diet

full name / name of organization: 
Tanfer Emin Tunc
contact email: 

Food on the Home Front, Food on the Warfront: Conflict and the American Diet

Edited by Tanfer Emin Tunc and Annessa Ann Babic

Food has been an inextricable part of American warfare since the
inception of the nation. From the traveling cooks of the
Revolutionary War, to the advent of canned provisions during the Civil
War, to the renaming of German dishes such as sauerkraut (liberty
cabbage) and hamburgers (liberty steaks) during World War I, to the
rise of Asian cuisine during World War II and the Vietnam War, to the
surge of Middle Eastern cuisine and the French fries/freedom fries
controversy of the post 9/11 era, military conflict has impacted the
American diet both on the warfront and on the home front. While
international politics and domestic propaganda ostensibly initiated
and sustained many of these dietary changes, some outlasted the wars
with which they were originally associated, becoming a permanent part
of American culinary culture. The consumption of canned food, for
example, was originally designed for soldiers and travelers who could
not always access a fresh cooked meal. Canned food was then sold to
middle class consumers as luxury items which would facilitate their
busy lifestyles. After World War II, however, canned food was
democratized through mass production, becoming a generic and
inexpensive part of American life. Today, it is a significant part of
the national palate, spawning entire industries (tuna) and foodways
(spam cuisine).

War has also prompted Americans to rethink their consumption of food,
ranging from the improvement of domestic beer brewing (when patriotic
Americans refused to consume German beer); to the conservation and
home gardening movements of World Wars I and II; to more recent
efforts centering on organic and green consumption after Americans
witnessed what chemicals could do to the human body during the Vietnam
and Gulf Wars. Food has also served as points of contention between
war-torn nations, with Hershey Bars and Coca Cola functioning first as
soft power or cultural "envoys of peace," and later as insidious
portents of the American capitalism and imperialism that many
associate with "hard power" US global interventions.

This edited volume seeks to explore the meaning of food in
relation to American conflict and war. The editors encourage the
submission of abstract dealing with the ways in which war has impacted
American foodways and culinary culture since the eighteenth century.
We are especially interested in submissions that consider material
objects such as menus, posters, food packaging, recipes and cookbooks
as well as media representations, including pamphlets, short films,
and public service announcements produced by the US government,
related agencies, and NGOs. Topics may include, but are not limited
to: representations of food and war in American literature; war and
the scarcity of food; food conservation movements and grassroots
activism; home production and canning; gender, class, race and food;
the evolution of the American diet; culinary creativity, food
substitutions, and changes in cooking style; the American consumer and
shopping habits; food, war, and children; propaganda and patriotism;
cooking classes, textbooks and indoctrination; food rationing and
hoarding; nutrition during wartime; and comparative/transnational

Essay abstracts of no more than 500 words and one-paragraph bios
should be emailed to Drs. Tanfer Emin Tunc ( and
Annessa Ann Babic ( by June 30, 2014. If
selected, full-text essays of 8,000 words (maximum) will be due
October 31, 2014.