Consuming Passions: Food in the Age of Anxiety

Consuming Passions: Food in the Age of Anxiety

by Sian Griffiths
     
 

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Descartes is to blame. For centuries his tag "I think therefore I am" has dominated our notion of ourselves and the world; that the mind is what counts seems to be the message of Cartesianism, the body could fend for itself. What people thought has been central to academic study, what they ate was considered marginal and insignificant. But the picture is changing.

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Overview

Descartes is to blame. For centuries his tag "I think therefore I am" has dominated our notion of ourselves and the world; that the mind is what counts seems to be the message of Cartesianism, the body could fend for itself. What people thought has been central to academic study, what they ate was considered marginal and insignificant. But the picture is changing. Food, after all is fundamental. Critics in English literature are beginning to theorize about the significance of food in texts, "edible ecriture" as Terry Eagleton calls it. Historians chart the relationship between what we eat and how we live. Sociologists deconstruct the family meal. Psychiatrists ponder the inexorable rise of eating disorders. Philosophers construct the moral frameworks for ethical eating; and scientists work with social scientists as killer diseases, food borne, sweep the country. This book unites scientists, social scientists and those working in the humanities in a call for food to be studied more in universities across disciplines—and for those involved in its study no longer to be marginalized.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Twenty-four contributions, mostly from British academics representing a range of disciplines (among them anthropology, psychology, film studies, population studies, history, and English literature) and a few other contributors (a physician and a journalist), are arranged in two sections labelled "consumer anxiety" and "comfort food." The unifying theme is simply food, addressed from a variety of personal and scholarly viewpoints. Among the subjects discussed: standards, safety, distribution, cooking with kids, weight loss, eating habits and behavior, vegetarianism, and food in literature. Each contribution includes references for further reading, but there is no index. Distributed by St. Martin's Press. Paper edition (unseen), $19.95. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781901341065
Publisher:
Manchester University Press
Publication date:
11/28/1998
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.39(w) x 8.45(h) x 0.63(d)

Meet the Author

Sian Griffiths is the Features Editor for the Times' Higher Education Supplement (U.K.).

Jennifer Wallace is a lecturer in English at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge.

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