Tuesday, June 4, 2019
With financial support from the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ Aid for Interdisciplinary Sessions Fund.
Food is produced, both discursively and materially, through a web of social and cultural interactions, significations and practices. As such, food and food-related practices are permeated and informed by power issues creating unfair and unequal relationships to food, and through food. Works emerging from critical food studies have demonstrated very well how the uneven power relationships get to be materialized and rendered effective through the range of various activities related, among other things, to food production and harvesting, circulation, preparation, and consumption. By conceptualizing and questioning food as a site, a practice and/or a medium or by examining the relationships that surround food or that are constituted by or through food-related activities, communication studies proves to be an insightful approach to questioning food-related issues. This panel’s four presentations are at the intersection of food and communication studies, leavening the conversation with critical perspectives coming from both fields. Mihalache’s archival research examines mid-20th century recipe competitions as both a form of agency and a site of absences and marginalization in a pre-multiculturalism Canada. Elliott examines radical transparency in food packaging, the diverging strategies of government and Big Food in terms of providing health information to the public. Durocher’s research explores how power relationships and issues emerge through the ways by which we culturally define and practice what is conceived as “healthy nutrition”. Hey examines how the applying “just the method” of a ferment circumvents the social and ethical accountability that comes with encountering Others' (knowledge).