Monday, August 17, 2009
Cfp: "Food Theory," PRE/TEXT: A JOURNAL OF RHETORICAL THEORY (forthcoming).
Nourish. Taste. Cultivate. These are terms familiar to writing and rhetorical studies as descriptions of writing. They are also terms relevant to food. In our current state of mass media (TV, the Internet, film, radio) the conflation of composing and food consumption has become de facto. Roland Barthes once wrote that "the Author is thought to nourish the book." Indeed, food production has become a type of rhetorical exercise: Anthony Bourdain adventures around the world, chefs compete against one another on cable television, while Michael Pollan and films like Food Inc. and Supersize Me warn us of the problematic global practices inherent in corporate foods. Often lost in this circulation of ideas and expression is food theory. As Barthes’ comment reveals, the language of theory is often intertwined with that of food and food-related imagery. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari used the rhizome metaphor, Michel Foucault tied agricultural practices to the rise of power formations, Michel de Certeau situated food as a "practice of everyday life," Julia Kristeva called food an abjection, and Jean François Lyotard writes of eclecticism as a trait of contemporary culture that includes, among other things, eating at McDonalds. The time, therefore, has come for critical approaches to both mass media interest in food and theoretical approaches to food. This special issue of Pre/Text calls for articles that push the connection between critical theory and food. Instead of a theory about food, however, what might it mean to explore a food theory? How could theory be not just about food, but based in the language, ideas, concepts, and ideologies of food? How, in other words, is food rhetorical? This special issue of Pre/Text will explore food as a theoretical framing. We invite proposals that address the idea of "food theory." Please send 250 word proposals to the guest editors by Dec 1: Jeff Rice firstname.lastname@example.org and Jenny Rice email@example.com.