CFP: Food and Transnational Identity panel, American Studies Assoc.
bvergara at sfsu.edu
Tue Dec 20 10:21:23 EST 2005
Call for Papers Date: 2006-01-10 (in 21 days)
Date Submitted: 2005-12-14
EATING OUT: FOOD AND THE PERFORMANCE OF TRANSNATIONAL IDENTITY
I am looking for co-presenters for an alternative session that I am
proposing for the upcoming American Studies Association conference,
which will take place in Oakland, California October 12-15, 2006. The
theme for the 2006 ASA conference is “The United States from Inside and
Out: Transnational American Studies.”
The session that I am proposing, "Eating Out: Food and the Performance
of Transnational Identity" will focus upon the relationship between
so-called “ethnic" food and transnational identity in America.
Performance Studies approaches tend to support a theorization of food as
being perceived acted upon and located in what Paul Connerton would
describe as a “system of expectations.” According to Barbara
Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, to perform is to do, to behave, to show. Food
evokes a certain level of preconception, and does something to the
consumer. What does food do in transnational American cultural life? The
goal of this session is to explore this very issue.
Keying in on the more evocative and dynamic qualities of food, I would
invite performance or workshop oriented proposals that consider a
delectable buffet of ethnographic works, performances, gastronomic
literature, art, films and/or television programs. Of special interest
will be how food and foodways as cultural performances sustain, subvert,
bind or bound various immigrant communities within American society.
Drawing from Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s theory of food as a
performance medium, and Dwight Conquergood’s theory of dialogical
performance, for my own presentation I will discuss and perform short
excerpts from several texts in conversation with each other as a way of
debunking the myth of the American Melting Pot. Focusing upon reviews of
Iberian and Latin American restaurants in the Ironbound neighborhood of
Newark, New Jersey, I will draw attention to how articulations (and
misrepresentations) of Newark’s urban decline and renewal, coupled with
popular discourses around the Ironbound’s thriving food culture
construct the neighborhood as a bounded ethnic utopia, spatially and
discursively separate from the city’s notorious legacy of
post-industrial failure, political corruption, crime and racial violence
enacted across a highly polarized Black-White divide.
Alternative sessions are essentially sessions without papers, and would
include performances, workshops, multimedia presentations and dialogues.
For a more detailed description of alternative sessions, please visit
the ASA website:
Artists, foodies, and graduate students are especially encouraged to
submit a proposal.
Please email a brief (250 word) proposal and 1 page cv to
l-baptista at northwestern.edu if you are interested in joining this
session NO LATER THAN January 10, 2005.
Lori Barcliff Baptista
Department of Performance Studies
1920 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208-2240
Email: l-baptista at northwestern.edu
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