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The rhetoric of contemporary food production and consumption with a focus on social boundaries

The rhetoric of food is more than just words about food, and food is more than just edible matter. Cookery:Food Rhetorics and Social Production explores how food mediates both rhetorical influence and material life through the overlapping concepts of invention and production. The classical canon of rhetorical invention entails the process of discovering one’s persuasive appeals, whereas the contemporary landscape of agricultural production touches virtually everyone on the planet. Together, rhetoric and food shape the boundaries of shared living.
The essays in this volume probe the many ways that food informs contemporary social life through its mediation of bodies—human and extra-human alike—in the forms of intoxication, addiction, estrangement, identification, repulsion, and eroticism. Our bodies, in turn, shape the boundaries of food through research, technology, cultural trends, and, of course, by talking about it.
Each chapter explores food’s persuasive nature through a unique prism that includes intoxication, dirt, “food porn,” strange foods, and political “invisibility.” In each case readers gain new insights about the relations between rhetorical influence and embodied practice through food. As a whole Cookery articulates new ways of viewing food’s powers of persuasion, as well as the inherent role of persuasion in agricultural production.
The purpose of Cookery, then, is to demonstrate the deep rhetoricity of our modern industrial food system through critical examinations of concepts, practices, and tendencies endemic to this system. Food has become an essential topic for discussions concerned with the larger social dynamics of production, distribution, access, reception, consumption, influence, and the fraught question of choice. These questions about food and rhetoric are equally questions about the assumptions, values, and practices of contemporary public life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780817359836
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
Publication date: 04/21/2020
Series: Albma Rhetoric Cult & Soc Crit Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.00(d)

About the Author

Donovan Conley is Berman Chair in Language and Thought and associate professor of communication studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is coeditor of Imagining China: Rhetorics of Nationalism in an Age ofGlobalization. He also has published articles in Communication and Critical/CulturalStudies, Pre/Text, Critical Studies in Media Communication, and Culture, Theory and Critique.
Justin Eckstein is assistant professor and director of forensics in the communication department at Pacific Lutheran University. He also has published articles in Philosophyand Rhetoric, Argumentation, Argumentation and Advocacy, Western Journal ofCommunication, and Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, among other journals.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Soiled

Donovan Conley and Justin Eckstein

1. Brewing Influence: The Mixology of Morals

Katie Dickman and Nathaniel A. Rivers

2. The Terroir and Topoi of the Lowcountry

Anna Marjorie Young and Justin Eckstein

3. Food Pornography

Casey R. Kelly

4. Rhetorically Strange Foods

Jeff Rice

5. More than a Membrane

Donovan Conley


Greg Dickinson