Working Session #16: A Matter of Public Taste(s): Food, Performance, and Commensality Location:
Boardroom Convenors: Kristin Hunt, Arizona State University Joshua Abrams, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London
This working group interrogates the role food plays in constructing, nourishing, and contesting notions of the public. From food as a site of creolization, tracing narratives of contact, colonialism, and interaction in both domestic and public spaces, to initiatives like José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen, which has fed publics across states of emergency, food collides bodily and political realities and imaginaries as well as serving as a means of staging and preserving public identities. Pursuing our research within the context of the kitchen, itself a site in which public and private spheres often intersect, participants will develop a pre-conference off-site food performance engaging relationships between labor, food, the human body, and the collective publics invoked in events of cooking and eating. The in-conference session will allow participants to share their work and discoveries made in performance within a broader discussion about the intersections of food, performance, and public spaces.