‘Culinary Cultures: Food and the Postcolonial’, Friday 5th May 2017, 9.30-4.45.
The academic study of food has undoubtedly been one of the growth areas of the last twenty-five years. However, Postcolonial studies has been relatively slow to embrace the study of culinary cultures and food histories in a postcolonial context. The contemporary popularity of Food Studies, both as an area of academic enquiry and in terms of a growing audience of more general readers, is evident from the burgeoning number of publications which cross these audiences and the growing appetite for cookery programmes and writing.
This symposium brings together papers on food and the postcolonial, across and between different disciplines, in order to make a significant contribution to this emerging strand of postcolonial food studies. Papers can consider food preparation, cooking and/or consumption in literary, filmic, sacred or visual texts, travel writing, advertising, life writing and oral histories, menus, cookbooks and cookery programmes, foodways and food histories, postcolonial ecologies and environmentalism, may focus on intergenerational differences, food memories and nostalgia or gustatory experiences and the politics of taste. The reach of papers may be territory-specific or global and especially welcome are those which consider the global dimensions of food and foodways.
How might we map a consideration of food onto the global connectedness and globalizing processes of colonialism and decolonization? What happens when food ‘travels’, and how do transnational and/or diasporic writers negotiate their identities through and with food? How do contemporary writers and/or artists navigate tensions between the local and the global, foodways of the past and of the present and how are concepts of culinary ‘tradition’ and ‘authenticity’ articulated in their works? How do postcolonial writers on food come to writing and what is their relationship with the audiences which ‘consume’ their works?