From the Editor

Greetings food scholars!

Welcome to the Graduate Journal of Food Studies. It is with great joy that I present to you the first edition of a journal that I hope helps to encourage the continued growth of food scholarship at an institutional level—engaging students and professional educators alike in meaningful conversations about food. The articles featured here were reviewed blindly and selected from a pool of many fantastic submissions by a board of graduate student peers. They well represent the tremendous quality of research occurring at the graduate level and the diversity of a fundamentally interdisciplinary subject matter.

Emily Contois takes us inside the contemporary trophy kitchen to explore how its value transcends the preparation of food and extends to the production of social and cultural capital as well. Gretchen Sneegas shows that the citizens of Detroit, empowered by social justice initiatives, are challenging the myopic dominant discourse of widespread urban decay. Analyzing the gendered meanings of food-related propaganda in North Korea, Miki Kawasaki argues that the government actively reinforces the subservient status of both women and the land. Lastly, Madore et al. take a quantitative “best practices” approach, proposing ways in which farmer’s market incentives programs can be improved. Taken together, they show that food scholarship at the graduate level is not only well rooted but that it’s blossoming.

In addition to these original articles, the journal features a Book Review section in which graduate students, who I dare say do a great deal of reading, reflect on the contribution of recently published scholastic books that are inspiring and informing their own research in meaningful ways. This edition features reviews of Charlotte Biltekoff’s Eating Right in America, Rachel Black and Robert Ulin’s Wine and Culture, and Heather Paxson’s Life of Cheese by Maria Carabello, Chris Maggiolo, and Brad Jones respectively. You’ll also notice the accompaniment of various artistic mediums in addition to the text. More than just adding aesthetic appeal, these multimedia contributions reiterate that food can stimulate the eyes and intellect as well as the appetite.

I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to the many parties instrumental in taking a seed of an idea and helping it to germinate. The faculty advisory board, and especially Dr. Rachel Black and Dr. Carole Counihan, have been tremendously helpful. The voluntary support of a sharp and discerning peer-review committee has been critical. I’d like to thank Claudia Catalano for her considerable time and design talent, Zachary Nowak for his astute feedback and eye for style, and the rest of the Editorial Board who have been invaluable.

As a community of food-studies scholars, we show that food and drink can be valuable lenses through which interdisciplinary questions can fruitfully explored, while at the same time being mindful that in seeing through food we don’t continue to ignore the medium itself as a mere means to other ends. The specificity of food matters. The Graduate Journal of Food Studies hopes to be a forum that furthers the study of food by giving voice to a nascent cohort of interested scholars and encouraging dialogue that transcends disciplinary boundaries.

In sating more insistent hungers,

Brad Jones