Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Kumkum Sangari, Jose Lanters, Kennan Ferguson
American literature, Food media, Food studies, Food writing, Globalization, Literature
My dissertation, Hungry for More: American Food Writing and Globalization, investigates several food-focused texts including novels, travelogues, culinary memoirs, and TV shows. I take an interdisciplinary approach by incorporating literary theory into the field of food studies to argue that food texts from the United States reveal a growing anxiety towards what, how, and where we eat. As I show, food writing plays a prominent role in shaping many Americans' interactions with the world. More specifically, I argue that globalization has changed, and continues to transform, access and attachments to food. In the first chapter of my dissertation, I examine culinary memoirs to analyze how the selected texts depict immigrant and diasporic communities that reproduce specific dishes to maintain active connections to their homelands while simultaneously critiquing nationalistic calls to assimilate and forget their cultural practices. In my second chapter, I explore the work of Anthony Bourdain. As arguably the most famous and beloved travel host and food writer in the United States, I argue that Bourdain's work often exoticizes the cultues he attempted to present with nuance and that his literary style and televisual vocabulary often utilized misogynistic tropes that diminished the voices of female chefs and critics. My third chapter analyzes two novels that describe the environmental toll of our globalized food system, while my fourth chapter examines two recent memoirs on food justice and disaster relief that provide potential solutions for developing a more equitable food system in the US in the wake of humanitarian disasters. My work ultimately reveals that American food writing expresses a larger anxiety toward the economic, political, and cultural changes brought about through globalization while it simultaneously celebrates its bounties.
Kleinke, Andrew, "Hungry for More: American Food Writing and Globalization" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 2909.