Food Studies (In)Digestion

The Graduate Association for Food Studies is thrilled to announce Food Studies (In)Digestion, a series of conversations for graduate students to search for, critique, expand, and understand our orientations to the food studies canon. Each part of this series serves as an opportunity to generate discussion about the field of food studies through its commonly read texts—and to reflect on how those texts provoke or prevent growth in the field.

These sessions are designed for open conversation among graduate students (GAFS members and non-members). Given our desire to facilitate an open and honest conversation, meetings will not be recorded but we are hopeful that these conversations lead to the development of future bibliographies and articles in the Graduate Journal of Food Studies and further programs for the broader food studies community. (The bibliographies generated are in no way suggestive or authoritative, but rather a living document of scholarship discussed throughout the series.)

Give me more details! How do I join a Food Studies (In)Digestion session?

Sessions will be held every couple of months with announcements to register distributed on our listserv and social media accounts. (Not subscribed to our listserv? Join here! You don’t have to be a GAFS member to join.)

Each session requires pre-registration via Zoom. Any suggested readings for the sessions will be distributed to registered participants.

GAFS moderators will be present at each session. If you wish to attended a session but prefer only to listen, you may feel free to mute your camera and microphone and direct any questions or comments you have via private message to the GAFS board members moderating the session.

GAFS will keep a running bibliography throughout the duration of the series for graduate studies to reference.

Upcoming Sessions:

1st Session | The Food Studies Dilemma: Searching for the Food Studies Canon

Thursday, October 1st | 1:30 – 3:30 PM EST

Registration Link:–4oAP93YjJMbGn

Session Moderators: Jessica Carbone & Erica Zurawski, GAFS Co-Presidents

At some point all graduate students entering the field of food studies ask: “What should I read?” As we work to gain proficiency in the field, we also ask, “What do I have to read?” Yet even as we familiarize ourselves with a discipline through carefully crafted reading lists—from the scholarly world, from the popular world, and from the primary and archival sources and silences we encounter in our research—we inevitably experience a degree of scholarly indigestion.

  • As a field that celebrates its interdisciplinarity, how do we as emerging scholars position ourselves within this interdisciplinarity? What difficulties does this pose and what possibilities does it open up?
  • What are the real-world implications of having (or not having) clear boundaries to the field of food studies?
  • How can a canon of food studies act as a shared language for communicating across the disciplines? 
  • How does that language exclude and silence? What strategies can we use to include and give voice as we build the canon?

This first session offers an opportunity to discuss and debate the concept of a food studies canon—what the value of such a canon could be, and what the inherent limits and challenges are in assembling such a canon for this still-emerging field.