Call for Papers: Food as Communication/Communication as Food

Posted by on May 11, 2009

Initial Call for Papers
Food as Communication/Communication as Food

Janet M. Cramer, Ph.D.
Carlnita P. Greene, Ph.D.
Lynn M. Walters, M.S.

Food has increasingly become a subject for academic inquiry, especially in its relationship to culture, identity, and myriad social, economic, and political structures.  Although food cultures have been widely studied within the fields of anthropology, sociology, and cultural history, it is only just beginning to be studied within the field of communication.  With the recent increase in public attention to food, agriculture, global activism, and the political and cultural dimensions of food production and consumption, there is a need for communication scholars to apply our unique methodological and theoretical approaches to the study of food.

We invite researchers who have worked in this area to submit completed manuscripts for an edited collection that will become the first text of its kind in the area of food as communication.  Specifically, the purpose of this text will be to provide definitive and foundational examples of how food operates as a system of communication and how communication theory and practices can be understood by considering food in this way—that is, to analyze food through these perspectives and to use food as a way of understanding various communication theories.  As Roland Barthes has written, food is “a system of communication, a body of images, a protocol of usages, situations, and behavior.  Information about food must be gathered wherever it can be found: by direct observation in the economy, in techniques, usages and advertising; and by indirect observation in the mental life of a given society.”

Manuscripts may use any method and should encompass traditional approaches to communication, such as rhetorical, interpersonal, media and popular culture, environmental, organizational, intercultural, interpretive, feminist, discourse studies, and critical/cultural perspectives.  Topics include, but are not
limited to, the following:
•    How food functions symbolically, meanings about food, food discourses
•    Food as communication in families and how individuals become aware of and learn food preferences
•    Interpersonal influences on how we learn about food and our food choices
•    Food and identity (including gender, race, ethnicity, nation, sexuality, etc.)
•    Food and social style
•    Food and the communication of social values, including aspects of production, marketing, advertising, purchasing, and consumption
•    Food and organizational cultures
•    Food and performance
•    Languages of food
•    Food and issues of social justice, poverty, hunger
•    Food and political economy, globalization, world trade
•    International perspectives on food
•    Food and our connection to the natural world; environmental issues
•    Cooking as communication
•    Food and the production/maintenance/transmission/consumption of culture
•    Food and issues of health
•    Food and popular culture/media

Manuscripts should be prepared in English, conform to APA style, and should be 6,000-9,000 words, including references.  Manuscripts must not be under review for publication elsewhere.  If a manuscript has already been published, author(s) should provide publication details.  It is the author’s responsibility to secure copyright permission and pay any fees, if necessary, for the manuscript to be published in this edited collection.  Preference will be given to works not in publication elsewhere.

Manuscripts (MS Word format) should be emailed to Janet M. Cramer, University of New Mexico, by June 1, 2009.  This is an initial call for completed manuscripts only.

Please circulate this CFP to any colleagues who might be interested.

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