Gastronomica/SOAS Distinguished Lecture: Re-thinking Street Food


Since 2014, Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies has partnered with University of London’s SOAS Food Studies Centre to co-sponsor a Distinguished Lecture Series for leading scholars, students, journalists, practitioners and members of the public to engage in critical conversations about the nature of food, the interconnectivity of contemporary food systems, the role of food in daily life, and emerging trends in food studies.

In advance of the next event on Thursday, January 17, Krishnendu Ray, a member of Gastronomica’s incoming editorial collective and Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at NYU, previews his lecture, “Re-thinking Street Food.”

Consideration of street food in the contemporary world draws attention to the cities of the Global South, where some of the most interesting food is from the street. This new focus can change the politics and poetics of good taste. It has the capacity to decolonize palatal and philosophical expectations of gastronomy that have come to dominate the field. And it also marks the transition from the twentieth-century welfare politics to an unchartered world of micro-entrepreneurship, risk and precarity in the twenty-first century. Based on a case study in Delhi, India I show how democracy works at the ground-level of the marketplace and suggest that rather than eliminating street vending, a better pathway to a livable city would be a nuanced balancing of the laws, which can account for livelihoods of poor people in the short- and the medium-run, along with the liveliness of cities for all, allowing a slow, fruitful traffic in life-sustaining activities on the street. The challenge is to find ways to integrate the life of the foot and pedal with the inanimately powered wheel in the last mile—which is what we call a neighborhood—in a livable city.

rayKrishnendu Ray is the Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University and a member of Gastronomica’s incoming editorial collective, which will will assume editorial leadership of the journal in January 2019, following the conclusion of Editor Lissa Caldwell’s tenure. Ray was a faculty member and the Associate Dean of Liberal Arts at The Culinary Institute of America. He is the author of The Migrant’s Table (2004), The Ethnic Restaurateur (2016), and the co-editor of Curried Cultures: Globalization, Food and South Asia (2012). He is currently the President of the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS).

The lecture will be held on January 17, 2019 from 6:15-9:00 PM in the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS, University of London. The event is free and open to the public. If you would like to attend the event please register. Online registration

Winter 2018, Volume 18 Number 4


Editor’s Letter | Melissa L. Caldwell

Changing Tastes? The Evolution of Dining Out in England | Alan Warde

Food Is the New Jazz? Jack Kerouac and Food Writing | Bo McMillan

Maternal Food Memories in Lin Cheng-sheng’s 27°C: Loaf Rock and Eric Khoo’s Recipe: A Film on Dementia | Michelle E. Bloom

Productivism, Agroecology, and the Challenge of Feeding the World | Devon Sampson

Bottles of Art, Works of Alcohol | Jim Drobnick

A Tale of Two Cities: Differences in Wine Culture in Nice and London | Lacey Gibson

When the Kids Conquered the Kitchen: Danish Taste Education and the New Nordic Kitchen | Karen Wistoft and Lars Qvortrup

Still Life, With Lobster | Kelly Alexander

Food in Time and Place: The American Historical Association Companion to Food History
Edited by Paul Freedman, Joyce E. Chaplin, and Ken Albala, Reviewed by Todd C. Ream

Food across Borders
Edited by Matt Garcia, E. Melanie DuPuis, and Don Mitchell, Reviewed by Natalie Santizo

Personalities on the Plate: The Lives and Minds of Animals We Eat
By Barbara J. King, Reviewed by Amy Leigh Field

Eating to Learn, Learning to Eat: The Origins of School Lunch in the United States
By A. R. Ruis, Reviewed by Mark D’Alessandro

Making Modern Meals: How Americans Cook Today
By Amy B. Trubek, Reviewed by Lindi J. Masur

Sugar: The World Corrupted, from Slavery to Obesity
By James Walvin, Reviewed by Rien Fertel


Fall 2018, Volume 18 Number 3

Editor’s Letter | Melissa L. Caldwell

Re-Regulating Loncheras, Food Trucks, and their Clientele: Navigating Bureaucracy and Enforcement in New Orleans | Sarah Fouts

Wild Cuisine and Canadianness: Creeping Rootstalks and Subterranean Struggle | Natalie Doonan

Recipes as Culinary Communication in a Canadian Art Museum: Lobster Soufflé, Beef Stroganoff, and the Tensions of Gourmet Cooking in the 1960s | Irina D. Mihalache

Contending the Rural: Food Commodities and Regimes of Value in China | Sacha Cody

Australian Wine Labels: Terroir without Terror | Moya Costello, Robert Smith, and Leonie Lane

Dieting in the Long Sixties: Constructing the Identity of the Modern American Dieter | Nancy Gagliardi

Follow That Pig: Visually Charting Enhanced Learning in a Culinary School Butchery Class | Mark D’Alessandro

The Search for General Tso
Directed by Ian Cheney, Reviewed by Paul Durrenberger

Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray
By Adam Federman, Reviewed by Sarah Elton

Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups
By Andrew Fisher, Reviewed by Stephanie Galinson

Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure
By Samira Kawash, Reviewed by Barbara Tagliaferro

The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African-American Culinary History in the Old South
By Michael W. Twitty, Reviewed by Beth Timmers

Harvest: Field Notes from a Far-Flung Pursuit of Real Food
By Max Watman, Reviewed by William Barton


Introducing Gastronomica’s Incoming Editorial Collective

University of California Press is pleased to announce Gastronomica‘s new editorial collective, which will be chaired by Daniel Bender (University of Toronto), Simone Cinotto (University of Gastronomic Sciences), and Amy Trubek (University of Vermont).

The Collective will assume editorial leadership of Gastronomica in January 2019, following the conclusion of Lissa Caldwell’s tenure.

Amy, Dan, and Simone are delighted to be working together on Gastronomica and are looking forward to the publication of their inaugural issue in May 2019 (Vol. 19, No. 2).

They say, “This is a terrific opportunity for Gastronomica. Our new editorial collective brings together scholars from across the world and voices from across this growing field. With such varied perspectives, we can help bring together the breadth and depth of scholarship in food studies and reach new academic, public, and activist audiences. We are excited to bring new features to the journal and some great special issues, including an inaugural issue highlighting “What’s Next?” in food studies. Our editorial collective is designed to reflect the social imperatives, public commitments, and scholarly depth of food studies. We are excited to bring together so many diverse voices in shaping the next chapter of the journal.”

UC Press extends its warm appreciation to Gastronomica‘s outgoing Editor-in-Chief, Melissa L. Caldwell (University of Santa Cruz) who has helmed the journal since 2012.

Caldwell says, “Gastronomica has always been ahead of its time both in featuring the most important conversations about food and in identifying emerging trends that challenged conventional wisdom and subsequently changed entire fields of study. It has been a privilege to serve as Editor and to have collaborated with food scholars, practitioners, activists, and enthusiasts from all over the world. I am deeply grateful to the many people who have contributed in so many ways to the journal—authors, reviewers, readers, critics, members of the editorial board, and of course my stellar behind-the-scenes editorial staff. I am thrilled that the journal will be in excellent hands and am looking forward to seeing where they take the journal and the field of critical food studies journeys next.”

Rachel Lee, Journals Manager at UC Press, says, “I’m enthused about the future of Gastronomica. As one of the Press’s flagship journals since its launch in 2001 under Darra Goldstein, this prestigious publication has long held an influential space in the field of food studies. As we approach Gastronomica’s second decade in publication, the deep experience of the editorial collective will provide essential direction to this maturing discipline.”

About The Editorial Collective

Screen Shot 2018-09-19 at 5.51.14 PMDaniel Bender is the founding director of the University of Toronto’s Culinaria Research Centre. The author or editor of five books, he is currently writing a book on food, empire, and tourism. He is a co-convenor of the international “City Food: Lessons from People on the Move” research collaboration.

Screen Shot 2018-09-19 at 5.51.31 PMSimone Cinotto is Associate Professor of Modern History at the Università di Scienze Gastronomiche in Pollenzo, Italy, where he is the Director of the master’s program “Master of Gastronomy: World Food Cultures and Mobility.” He is the author of The Italian American Table: Food, Family, and Community in New York City (University of Illinois Press, 2013) and Soft Soil Black Grapes: The Birth of Italian Winemaking in California (New York University Press, 2012); the editor of Making Italian America: Consumer Culture and the Production of Ethnic Identities (Fordham University Press, 2014), which won the 2015 John G. Cawelti Award for the Best Textbook/Primer of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association; and the coeditor, with Hasia Diner, of Global Jewish Foodways: A History (University of Nebraska Press, 2018). He is on the editorial board of Food, Culture, and Society and Global Food History among other journals and book series.

Screen Shot 2018-09-19 at 5.51.43 PMAmy Trubek is Professor in the Nutrition and Food Sciences department at the University of Vermont and Faculty Director for University of Vermont’s graduate program in Food Systems. She is the author of three books: Haute Cuisine: How the French Invented the Culinary Profession (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000), The Taste of Place: A Cultural Journey into Terroir (University of California Press, 2008) and Making Modern Meals: How Americans Cook Today (University of California Press, 2017).

Summer 2018, Volume 18 Number 2

Summer 2018, Volume 18 Number 2

Editor’s Letter | Melissa L. Caldwell

Consumer Citizenship: Instant Noodles in India | Amita Baviskar

Advertising Indians | Neil Oatsvall

Transparency and the Factory Farm: Agritourism and Counter-Activism at Fair Oaks Farms | Jan Dutkiewicz

“You Can Never Give Up Siyez If You Taste It Once”: Local Taste, Global Markets, and the Conservation of Einkorn, an Ancient Wheat | Nurcan Atalan-Helicke

“Someone Else’s Land is Our Garden!”: Risky Labor in Taipei’s Indigenous Food Boom | Tomonori Sugimoto

Revisiting Coca-Cola’s “Accidental” Entry into Communist Europe | Albena Shkodrova

Fresh Green Peas | Rose Rappoport Moss

Food Sovereignty and Farmer Suicides: Synthesizing Political Ecologies of Health and Education in Karnataka, India | David Meek

Edible Memory: The Lure of Heirloom Tomatoes & Other Forgotten Foods
By Jennifer A. Jordan, Reviewed by Jessica Carbone

The Politics of the Pantry: Stories, Food, and Social Change
By Michael Mikulak, Reviewed by Ferne Edwards

Fast Food: The Good, the Bad and the Hungry
By Andrew F. Smith, Reviewed by Chin Jou

Ten Restaurants That Changed America
By Paul Freedman, Reviewed by Todd C. Ream

Butter: A Rich History
By Elaine Khosrova, Reviewed by Françoise R.L. Auvray

The Natural Art of Cheesemaking
By David Asher, Reviewed by Theodore Rend Barton


Reactive Taste | Richard Wilk