Merin Oleschuk and Helen Vallianatos are working on putting together a
panel session for CASCA 2011, and need another participant. Panel
participants will examine the experience of ethnic/national
identity/ies through food practices and beliefs. The abstract for the
As an integral symbol of identity, foodways at once embody the
individual, group and nation. Individuals construct their subjectivity
through both their literal and symbolic associations with food; we
assert our collective identities through common eating practices and
delineate boundaries between groups in the opposite manner.
Ethnic and national identities are manipulated and reformulated in the
creation of a national culture and this is represented in the
development of national cuisines. As scholars such as Arjun Appadurai,
Igor Cusack, and Richard Wilk tell us, a national cuisine is created
by multiple gendered, ethnic, and classed groups to appropriate and
assemble regional and ethnic cuisines into a relatively cohesive
product which defines "the boundaries of edibility and the structure
of domestic ideologies" (Appadurai, 1988). The diversities within any
national cuisine are demonstrated in the gendered construction of
nationhood, where men and women have defined roles to play in the
performance of the nation (Yuval-Davis, 1997). In producing the food
of the nation, women can be understood as partaking in a form of
nationalism which is differentially situated within the realm of
empowerment and silence depending on the value placed on this work
(Clark, 2009; Cusack, 2000).
The papers presented in this panel will explore the gendered
performance of ethnic and national identities. We seek to critically
examine how food is used by individuals to express their gendered,
ethnic and national subjectivities.
Please contact Merin Oleschuk (firstname.lastname@example.org) if interested.