Podcast: COVID-19 Dispatches #1

We’re thrilled to be back with a new series of podcasts produced in collaboration with Meant To Be Eaten on Heritage Radio Network. In this series, we focus on our upcoming issue 20.3, entirely dedicated to dispatches from the food world in reaction to the first months of the pandemic. Listen to issue editor Bob Valgenti talk to Stephen Meinster about his article, “The Sickness Unto Hospitality”, which describes the unique capabilities of the hospitality industry to respond swiftly in crises – as he (as General Manager of a Chicago establishment) and many of his colleagues were forced to do – and about how things have unfolded since the piece was written in April 2020.

Issue 20.3 will be available online and in print in late August. If you want to be notified when the issue is available, please sign up for an alert (or simply follow us on social media). The University of California Press is offering a 30% discount on purchases of single print issues, which can be redeemed using the offer code GASTROAUG2020 (offer valid through June 2021).

Food in the time of COVID-19: Call for Submissions

Lockdowns, social distancing, quarantines, and simple fear in a time of uncertainty highlight the challenges of provisioning, the experiences of food workers, and the essential services food shops, hawkers, street vendors, bars, restaurants, markets, farms, and many more play in providing not only sustenance but also the liveliness upon which we depend in daily life.  

The Gastronomica Editorial Collective is seeking dispatches about food in the time of COVID-19. We seek as many diverse voices as possible, from as many affected, infected places as possible to provide a snapshot in time. We know that even as this next issue will go to press, the situation in many places may have worsened (but, hopefully, improved). We are, though, already immersed in stories and narratives of resilience that deserve to be remembered and documented. We seek, therefore, reflections in resilience. How do people feed themselves in times of crisis? What is the role of community and social ties in feeding ourselves, families, the ill, and each other? How has the crisis both highlighted the essential services provided by food workers and the precarity of those services? 

We invite shorter pieces (100-1000 words) in the form of personal dispatches drawn from lived experience: portraits, creative non-fiction, telephonic/digital interviews, photographs and other images, and more. If you are, or you know, someone who would like their voice heard, but might not have the time to put words to paper, please be in touch and we can arrange a conversation or interview with a collective member. We are eager to read, listen, and share. 

 Submissions can be sent directly to gastrome@ucpress.edu with the subject line “Food & Covid,” followed by your name and submission title. Please include a brief cover letter that can function as both an abstract and author bio, and include a word count. (If you have any citations, they should follow our general submission guidelines at https://gcfs.ucpress.edu/content/submit.) Please include (in-text) the date, place, and if possible, time, of writing in all submissions. 

In an effort to document, recall, and portray particular moments in the coming months, we are offering rolling submission deadlines. 

First submissions by: 10 April 

Second submissions by: 25 April

(We anticipate running more dispatches in forthcoming issues.)

(Empty shelves in a usually well-stocked supermarket in Cape Town, South Africa)