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.

“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.

We will be accepting submissions on a rolling basis, but manuscripts received by July 1 2021 and selected for peer review will be eligible for consideration for issue 21.4.

*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.

Podcast: COVID-19 Dispatches #2

For the second episode of our new podcast series, dedicated to dispatches from the food world in reaction to the first months of the pandemic (the focus of our forthcoming 20.3 issue), Jacques Rousseau reads from his essay “South Africa under lockdown,” and discusses with guest host Daniel Bender what quarantine has looked like since he wrote his piece in April 2020. (South Africa has had one of the most stringent lockdowns globally during the pandemic, with its internationally acclaimed hospitality industry in grave peril.)

Meant To Be Eaten/Gastronomica Podcast #6

In the sixth (and final, for this mini-series) instalment of our collaborative podcast with Meant To Be Eaten and Heritage Radio Radio Network, we bring you Collective Member Melissa Fuster in conversation with Chhaya Kolavalli on the topic of “Confronting Whiteness in the Local Food Movement.” We hope you enjoy the episode (and the article that this conversation is based on, free to read through 2020):

The Race against Rot: Gastronomica’s New Editorial Team Weighs In on Saving Food

Compiled and edited by Anelyse M. Weiler, Sarah Elton, and Josée Johnston.

Gastronomica’s incoming editorial team gathered in Toronto this past fall to discuss the future of food studies and pressing issues for food scholars today. The new team explored the theme of “saving food” as part of a public roundtable hosted by the University of Toronto’s Culinaria Research Centre. What questions should researchers and food studies practitioners be prioritizing to address the issue of saving food? What are some of the creative new ways of exploring the field? What needs saving, who ought to do it, and what should be left to molder away? To hear what Gastronomica’s new editorial team thinks about these issues in food studies, we asked (some of) them to weigh in on four questions, including a fun glimpse into how they “save” food in their own kitchens.

  • Simone Cinotto (Associate Professor of Modern History at the University of Gastronomic
    Sciences)
  • Paula Johnson (Curator at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History)
  • Eric C. Rath (Professor of History at the University of Kansas)
  • Krishnendu Ray (Associate Professor and Chair of Nutrition and Food Studies at New
    York University)
  • Signe Rousseau (Lecturer in Critical Literacy and Professional Communication at the University of Cape Town)
  • Amy Trubek (Professor in Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Vermont)
  • Robert Valgenti (Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Lebanon Valley College)
  • Helen Zoe Veit (Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University)

What does food need to be saved from?

Johnson: Imagine a world without field plows and fishing boats, cauldrons and cooking tools, family recipes and restaurant menus, culinary correspondence and kitchen stories from places and people in the past. That world, bereft of the historical material culture of food, would be a dismal and oblivious place without tangible connections to the ideas, innovations, and understandings about food, in the broadest sense, from those who came before us. Curators, librarians, and archivists are savers. Through collecting, preserving, and providing public access to rich materials, we help researchers discover treasure troves of data
about who we are, where we’ve been, and what has mattered over time. Our collections continue to reveal new insights on diverse aspects of food history—cultural, social, political, environmental, technological. They provide evidence of people and places that might otherwise be forgotten. And because they are saved for perpetuity, we can only imagine how new
technologies, such as the experimental (emerging?) field of proteomics, might uncover new layers of insight through the analysis of proteins left on the literal pages of history.

Rath: Not all historians recognize the importance of food, though! Food needs to be saved from its perceived banality. It’s not just consumers who take food for granted by expecting seventy brands of breakfast cereal in the supermarket and watermelon in the winter. For far too long historians, particularly in my field of Japanese history, have simply ignored food unless it is relevant to crises such as famine or war. Yet, food is always central to daily life and it needs to be made central to history in the same way that gender, race, or class cannot be ignored.

Rousseau: On the other hand, food needs to be saved from being fetishized, and wasted.

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