Language and cooking seem to have pushed the evolution of human beings towards their current cognitive orientations and capacities. Construed as a “total social phenomenon” (Marcel Mauss), food involves a wide range of experiences and practices that define who we are.
We invite papers that investigate the relationship between language and food and discuss the multiple forms and functions of food talk. We invite papers that (re)consider the symbols surrounding food and food itself as a symbol, as well as papers that investigate and discuss the ways in which food relates to identity, cultural diversity, the environment, technology, farming, shopping, travel and many other human practices.
Laden with cultural meanings, food is more that matter. It gives meaning, order and values to our lives. Hence, we invite papers that investigate the (transformative) powers of food in a global world dominated by haute food which, according to Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson, is a characteristic feature of our 21st century. She opines: “The ordered world of haute cuisine, with its rules and regulations and its reverence for the whole over the part, gives way before the often chaotic, mobile world of haute food. In the culture of haute food, culinary individualism trumps established authority, innovation takes precedence over tradition, and experimentation has priority over formality. Haute food reconstrues the very meaning of consumption” (Word of Mouth. What We Talk About When We Talk About Food, 2014, pp.182-183).
Food consumption may be looked at from a variety of angles proposed by literature, language and cultural studies. Lines of interest such as the following (but not only) may be explored:
- food consumption and the construction of identities;
- the imaginary of food, cooking and gastronomy;
- the epidemic of food worrying;
- globalization, McDonaldization and food imperialism;
- the memory of taste and culinary nostalgia;
- urban and rural gastro-identity landscapes;
- culinary spaces and gourmand discourse;
- the discourse of phobias and cravings;
- the discourse of cornucopia and scarcity;
- narratives of hunger, famine and starvation;
- tradition and innovation in culinary and gastronomy terminologies;
- the semantics of gastronomy lexis;
- food categories and their projection in the imaginary of phrases and idioms;
- culinary jargon.
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