“Water Works”: A Call for Papers for a Special Issue

The Gastronomica Editorial Collective invites submissions for a special issue on water.

Essential to life, key to cooking, and making up more than 50% of the human body, water is fundamental yet often ignored, dismissed, wasted, even feared as a source of contamination. As people in many parts of the world have become accustomed to water-intensive agriculture and food production processes, others are struggling with water access. The United Nations estimates that more than 2 billion people worldwide lack access to safe water, a condition that is exacerbated by political conflict and environmental degradation, resulting in devastating consequences for food security and health.

With such a topic that defies categorization, our guidelines for submissions are perhaps more fluid than in a typical CFP. We want to see a flood of creative and scholarly pieces, translations, as well as artworks that explore a wide range of interdisciplinary interactions and intersections from sensory science to environmental studies, from food production to culinary history, from social justice to cultural and community perspectives. We ask authors to think broadly and deeply about topics addressing, for example:

  • water rights and Indigenous communities;
  • water and innovations in agriculture, brewing, winemaking, and other arenas of food and drink;
  • impacts of climate change on food production and coastal communities;
  • the changing specter of water;
  • water, food chains, and culinary infrastructure;
  • the promise and perils of aquaculture and aquaponics;
  • food and watersheds;
  • floating markets and distribution channels;
  • taste; access, inequity, and waste.

Research articles and critical translations (with introductions, reference lists, and notes) should be between 4000-8000 words. In addition, we invite creative Food Phenomena pieces that focus on water, including creative essays and visual works, such as photo essays (see art submission guidelines here). Both Scholarly and Food Phenomena pieces should be submitted via the journal’s ScholarOne platform, following our submission guidelines

Deadline for submissions for this special issue: 15 May 2022.

*Please note that we continue to invite all other forms of Scholarly and Food Phenomena submissions on a variety of topics for future issues.

Fall 2021, Volume 21 Number 3

Editorial Letter | Krishnendu Ray

Beyond Bourdieu: What Tomatoes in Indian Recipes Tell Us about “Taste” | Sucharita Kanjilal

Tsukemono (Japanese pickles) and Their Traditional Vegetables | Aya H. Kimura

How to Stuff a Duck: Learning Artisan Foie Gras Production in France | Jean Lavigne

Risky but Raw: On (Not) Regulating One of the Most High-Risk Dishes in Japan | Benjamin Schrager

Deflated Michelin: An Exploration of the Changes in Values in the Culinary Profession and Industry | Raúl Matta and Padma Panchapakesan

Stirring the Pot: Calendario de Comida 1976, Chicano Art as Food Activism | L. Stephen Velasquez

Don’t Forget the Tomatoes for My Funeral | Teresa Politano

The Year of the Lobster: Decadence and Disgust in Pandemic Times | Andrew Simmons

Mixed Emotions: Cutting and Pasting through Loss, Detritus, and Forced Isolation During COVID-19 | Carolyn Tillie

Herrings, High-Rises, and Hongeo: Encounters with Korean Food Culture | Frank Dax

Rice Cultures of Bengal | Debal Deb


Fruteros: Street Vending, Illegality, and Ethnic Community in Los Angeles by Rocío Rosales
Reviewed by Noah Allison

Food Routes: Growing Bananas in Iceland and Other Tales from the Logistics of Eating by Robyn Metcalfe
Reviewed by Deborah Cowen

Cookbook Politics by Kennan Ferguson
Reviewed by Jennifer L. Holm

Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles by Laura Gabbert
Reviewed by Joe Karisny

Shifting Food Facts: Dietary Discourse in a Post-Truth Culture by Alissa Overend
Reviewed by Samantha King

The Man Who Ate Too Much: The Life of James Beardby John Birdsall
Reviewed by Jennifer R. Shutek

The Sultan’s Feast: A Fifteenth-Century Egyptian Cookbook
by Ibn Mubārak Shāh; edited, translated, and introduced by Daniel L. Newman

Reviewed by Limor Yungman

“Translating the Foods of the World” – A Call for Translations and Reflections on Translating the Worlds of Food

Gastronomica is pleased to introduce a new journal section with an exclusive focus on translation(s).

Even recipes written in English a century ago need contextualization (if not actual translation of now-obsolete words and/or ingredients) for readers today. Such a task is even more complicated when it comes to translating and adapting centuries-old works from other languages into English, be they cookbooks, primers to survive famine or to cook with rationed foods, guides to “healthy” eating, or similar texts. Despite these challenges, making such primary sources more accessible to students and researchers around the world is critical to stimulating and maintaining the growth of diverse voices in global food studies.  

We therefore invite submission of

  • translations into English of key culinary texts originally written in any language (though currently not available in English), and from all regions of the world. Translations can be of entire texts, or part(s) thereof with critical commentary;
  • essays reflecting on the challenges and opportunities relating to such translations (for example, the need to develop new vocabularies to express indigenous concepts; how translators engage with historical non-English texts like recipes that may assume more information and insight than they provide, and how culinary terminology has changed over time in tandem with other historical developments and shifts);
  • collaborative works featuring two or more scholars in dialogue about a specific translation, and/or (but not limited to) any of the issues outlined above.

We envision clustering translations and other accepted submissions thematically or geographically, with an introduction by one or more contributors, or other invited subject-matter experts.

Essays or translations (with introductions, reference lists, and notes) should be between 4000-8000 words, and should be submitted via the journal’s ScholarOne platform and should otherwise follow the submission guidelines for Scholarly Submissions.

*Please note that we continue to invite all other forms of Scholarly and Food Phenomena submissions, including creative visual works such as photo essays (see art submission guidelines here), and pieces with a focus on food, justice and activism.

Bonus Podcast Dispatch: “The Next Issue”

As a bonus finale to this season’s podcast series in collaboration with Meant To Be Eaten on Heritage Radio Network, we recorded a roundtable discussion at the 2021 ASFS “Just Food” conference which focussed on what both editors and readers can expect, and would like to see more of, in future issues of Gastronomica. Hosted by Lisa Haushofer, with contributions from Daniel Bender, Paula Johnson, and Amy Trubek.

Podcast Dispatches From Issue 21.2: Michaël Bruckert

For our fifth series of podcasts produced in collaboration with Meant to Be Eaten on Heritage Radio Network, we sit down (virtually) with authors who have contributed to our recently published second issue of 2021, featuring articles on topics including commensality and creative collaboration, the politics of food systems, and race and representation.

In this episode, Editorial Collective member Melissa Fuster is joined by author Michaël Bruckert, whose recently published article (“Chicken Politics: Agrifood Capitalism, Anxious Bodies, and the New Meanings of Chicken Meat in India“) explores meat industrialization in South India. Recounting his fieldwork in the region of Tamil Nadu, Bruckert traces the commoditization of poultry, from farms, markets, and butcher shops to eateries, home kitchens, and consumers’ plates. In this global South context, he explains how recent developments in animal agriculture have changed how people think about chicken – as animal and as meat – and have in the process materially transformed the chicken itself.