This week’s Reading List covers books on the sociology of food, food activism, and food research.
Interested in how what we eat today has been shaped by the food practices of the past?
The Food History Reader is a very welcome addition to the field of food history and will serve as a most valuable text to introduce students and researchers alike to the innumerable possibilities afforded by the study of documents which discuss historical food consumption. Josie Freear finds that it will be essential reading for any university course on the subject and will also appeal to a wider audience interested in how what we eat today has been shaped by the food practices of the past. Read the full review.
Interested in food activism?
Food Activism offers a contemporary anthropological view of a range of social movements and their relationship with power through food. Chapters cover local movements in Seattle and Kyoto, and national actions in Canada and Egypt. Elaine Kellman highly recommends this collection for ethnographers and for students and scholars in anthropology. Read the full review.
Interested in food research?
The last twenty years have seen a burgeoning of social scientific and historical research on food. The field has drawn in experts to investigate topics such as the way globalisation affects the food supply; what cookery books can (and cannot) tell us; changing understandings of famine; the social meanings of meals – and many more. Now sufficiently extensive to require a critical overview, this is the first handbook of specially commissioned essays to provide a tour d’horizon of this broad range of topics and disciplines. Reviewed by Ellen J. Helsper. Read the full review.
Interested in the intersections of food and race?
What difference does race make in the fields where food is grown, the places it is sold and the manner in which it is eaten? How do we understand farming, eating, and hunger better by paying attention to race? This collection argues there is an unacknowledged racial dimension to the production and consumption of food under globalization. As a contribution to the study of both food and race, it certainly achieves its goal of broadening both fields, bringing an anti-racist perspective to food scholarship, and deepening our understanding of how race is constituted in ways which are not always obvious, writes Eona Bell. Read the full review.