Cocktail Culture: The Book
Cocktail Culture: The Book
When Roland Barthes suggested that "the ideal drink would be rich in metonymies of all kinds," he might well have been speaking of cocktails and the drinking cultures they have helped to create. Whether in the 19th-century saloon, the prohibition speakeasy, or the fictional realms of James Bond and Mad Men, the cocktail has functioned as cultural bellwether for issues of class, taste, sexuality, and culture. In the last ten years, the so-called Cocktail Revival has produced a host of professional organizations, writings, blogs, and conferences devoted to examining and reviving both the drinks and habits of cocktail culture(s). In fact, if this phenomenon suggests anything, it's that the cocktail revival is nothing if not a loquacious movement: Amateur and professional mixologists alike have set about recovering not just the craft of the cocktail, but also its history, philosophy, and culture in print and online, and tippling has joined the ranks of locovorism and the slow-food movement as a site of critical consumption.
We invite essays for inclusion in a volume, provisionally titled The Shaken and the Stirred, devoted to theorizing, interpreting, and reading through the cocktail in its many cultural manifestations and representations. This volume will investigate epistemological, ontological, rhetorical, and heuristic implications of contemporary cocktail culture and the discourses that both emerge from it and construct it. Some key questions for consideration are: What ways of reading, interpreting, or knowing are made possible by cocktail culture? What representational practices are at work in that culture? What kinds of subjectivity, identity, and self-representation does it enable? How does the contemporary cocktail operate as a marker of class, gender, sexuality, race, and region? How might "drinking against the grain" foster subversive or resistant positionalities? When the cocktail speaks, what does it say? Who is empowered to speak and act in and by this culture? What constraints on language, behavior, and expression does this culture put in place?
Accordingly, essays might deal with any aspect of cocktail culture, but should draw attention primarily to cocktails as tools for thinking about culture. Essays might examine such topics as:
• Innovative mixology
• Booze in literature, film, television, and music
• Libationary self-fashioning
• Marketing of distilled spirits
• Bartending guides
• Cocktail theory and cocktail praxis
• Cocktails as commodities
• The erotics of drinking
• The history and lore of cocktails or cocktail ingredients
• The history and culture of distilling, mixing, or serving liquor
• Prohibition in literature and culture
• The cocktail as cultural symbol
• Cocktail philosophy
• The poetics and aesthetics of cocktail culture
Please send 3,500-to-6,500-word essays to Craig N. Owens (Drake University) and Steven Schneider (University of Louisville) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Review of manuscripts will begin August 15, 2014 and will continue until September 30, 2014.