Friday, April 21, 2006


CSFC: Food-Centered Discourses: Intellectual Communities Across Fields of Knowledge

The Critical Studies in Food and Culture presents:

“Food-Centered Discourses: Intellectual Communities Across Fields of Knowledge”

Meredith Abarca
University of Texas, El Paso

Friday, April 28th at 12:00
Voorhies 228
(Refreshments will be served)

The talk will raise a number of intellectual as well as ethical questions regarding the negotiation of food politics and philosophy embedded within different areas of food studies as well as food/cooking practices. Two communities voices prevalent within my work are the discourse of working-class Mexican and Mexican-American women and those of feminist’s university researchers. What subjectivities are negotiated when "charlas" about food take place between these two groups? How do these food talks change our understanding of the “knowledge” either group professes to have, and their relationship (responsibilities and obligations) to society at large? This talk will explore three aspects: first, how does the language of food speak differently according to its localized place? Second, what are the conceptual ways in which food-centered discourses overlap in particular places? This overlap creates what she calls a borderless boundary zone. The final exploration, therefore, asks: what are the strengths, as well as the limitations, in bridging the food voices of/from different places and spaces?

About the speaker: Meredith E. Abarca received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Davis. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Texas, El Paso, where she teaches courses on Chicana/o Literature, Mexican-American Folklore, Film and Literature of the Americas, Critical Theory, and Women Philosophers in the Kitchen. Her book Voices in the Kitchen: Views of Food and the World from Working-Class Mexican and Mexican American Women was recently released by Texas A&M University Press.

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