The journal you’re reading right now isn’t like most academic journals. Graduate students made it—researched, wrote, solicited, photographed, edited, copyedited, and designed every inch of it. The Graduate Journal of Food Studies showcases first-rate graduate food scholarship, but it does more than that. It is not only an academic journal, but an educational platform. Graduate students are expected to learn to research and publish, to write book reviews and peer reviews, to present at conferences and forge professional reputations, and often to become educators ourselves.
Look no further than the pages of the Chronicle of Higher Education and you will see that academia can be a challenging place to make a career. While commentators debate the causes, one fact is clear: graduate students are among the most vulnerable people in academia. Which is why we have to look out for each other. And it is part of why we offer this space for education, for learning to edit, review, and publish, for learning to see one’s work in print. This is a place where rising scholars sprout wings.
It has been a busy year for us at the Graduate Journal of Food Studies, with several exciting changes. We have a new institutional affiliation: the Journal is now a collaboration between students from Harvard University and Boston University’s Gastronomy program. As part of this new affiliation, we’ve seen some changes in our masthead. As Editor, I must extend heartfelt thanks to Founding Editor Brad Jones for overseeing numerous transitions with wisdom and wit. In addition to the Journal, we’ve founded the Graduate Association for Food Studies, an international professional association that provides exclusive resources and networking to graduate students interested in food. These changes will help us to continue providing a forum for exceptional graduate student scholarship.
Much has also stayed the same here at the Journal. I must thank all of our editors, reviewers, and authors for their hard work and intelligence. It is an honor to be able
to call on the luminaries of our advisory board, and we owe much of our content and design to their guidance. We received a record number of submissions for the issue you are now reading. The flood of interest we have seen in the Journal and Association is further proof of the power of food studies in this new generation of scholars.
In this issue, four articles take us on a journey through the food system, from farmer, to winemaker, to chef, to diner. In “The Two Locals,” Catie Peters complicates our vision of the local food movement with her case study of farmers in central Wisconsin, where local food holds profoundly different meanings than in an urban center. Next, Chris Maggiolo’s “They Go By the Moon” explores winemaking culture among Italian Americans in Boston, where multiple generations of winemakers negotiate old traditions and new technologies. W. Gabriel Mitchell’s “Cooking in Chaos” immerses us in the daily routines and improvisational rhythms of a restaurant kitchen. Finally, in “Dark Side of the Spoon,” an ethnography of patrons’ experiences in a blind dining restaurant, Kathe Gray raises provocative questions about taste, “mouth sense,” and the ability of words to describe sensory experiences.
Read well. We are the future of food studies.