Call for Papers – Edited Volume
Nourish and Resist: Food and Transatlantic Feminisms in Contemporary Global Caribbean Art
Hannah Ryan, PhD, Assistant Professor, St. Olaf College
Lesley A. Wolff, PhD, Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University
This project considers how the global Caribbean’s shattered histories and shards of vocabulary can be aggregated through centering female languages and experiences of food. From sugar to coffee, artists evoke food through embodied, performative, material, and visual means. Ripe with meaning, food also potently conveys messages of labor, exploitation, community, and resistance. In this interdisciplinary volume, we seek art historians, curators, and artists engaging with food pathways, consumption, and contemporary art through decolonial and intersectional feminist lenses. We seek submissions engaged with, though not wholly tethered to, the geographic Caribbean. This transnational approach reflects histories of trade during the birth of capitalism in this space, through systems of agriculture and mercantilism fueled by colonization and transatlantic slavery—the very systems that wrought contemporary modes of production and consumption.
As intersectional and interrelational feminist researchers and artists, our scholarly dialogue attends to the ways in which women, and particularly women of color, are uniquely exploited and imperiled by our modern food systems. And, like others, we find that within feminist praxis, food has the capacity to reveal women’s true lived experiences, whereas the art historical canon simply has not yet contended with the fallacies and erasures it engenders. The evocation of food makes visible histories and ideas that remain stubbornly obscured: domestic labor, generational knowledge, retention of culture, and a form of creativity for those without access to more dominant modes of artistic expression. Foods like fruit and meat are used to satirize the consumptive male gaze. Sacred ingredients and spiritual knowledge harken women’s covert power, while others convey pleasure. It is with these critical issues in mind that we convene a collective of artists and scholars reclaiming cookery and consumption as vital acts of both nourishment and resistance.
We seek contributions that represent new scholarly interventions in the arts of the Americas, with an emphasis on Caribbean, Latinx, and transnational/transcultural approaches, forging a revisionist path shaped by narratives at the nexus of gender, foodways, and the politics of race. Submissions should center on contemporary topics, but authors are also welcome to engage historical research through a contemporary lens. We also welcome other forms of scholarship and critical praxis, such as photo essays, performance, interviews/oral histories, syllabi, and artist manifestos.
Possible topics include engagement with:
- Representations of indigeneity, gender, and foodways in globalized contexts
- Gendered politics of Blackness/anti-Blackness in relation to food economies and representation
- Works of art that grapple with issues of colorism through evocations of food; for example, María-Magdalena Campos-Pons’ installation, Sugar/Bittersweet
- Food, memory, and diaspora
- Genderedness of precarity and forced migrations (representations of and impacts on artists and creative communities)
- Conviviality, leisure, and pleasure in dining and/or kitchens as acts of resistance
- Visual and material cultures of alcohol and intoxication
- Production and consumption of drinks, such as juices and milks
- Commodifying foodways and art markets
- Post-plantation ecologies and feminisms
- Transmission of intergenerational culinary knowledge
- Queering food consumption in performance art, and other subversive acts involving food
- Certain foods—like fruits—as symbols of fecundity and fertility
- Consumption within spiritual and religious rites, particularly those that empower women
- Histories and legacies of domestic labor, indentured servitude, and enslavement
- Bodily viscera, such as human milk and lactation
- Motherhood, labor, and care
- Pharmacopeia and medicinal practices tied to foods
- Heritage tourism and food
Authors will be notified by August. Completed materials will be expected by February 2022.