Autobiography post 1

October 20th, 2010

Research Paper Topic/Thesis

Posted by Tricia Zephyr in Uncategorized

Food is an important part of any celebration. Whether there is plenty of food, or lack thereof it is certainly centric to certain celebrations or cultures.  One can make an argument that food is spiritual. The Bacchanal (feast in honor of Bacchus (Dionysus, the God of wine) revolves around spring festival of fertility and agriculture. That suggests that food is spiritual. Food is divine. Food is healing, which is something that many authors of food memoirs share. Kim Serverson’s Spoon-fed how 8 cooks saved my life, speaks to how she overcame drug addiction, and found solace in food. Food did not become her new addiction, but an outlet for her to relieve her anxiety and stress in which she fueled her drug addiction. Anthony Bourdain’s “Medium Raw” is a follow up to his forever famous book and any aspiring Chef’s manifesto “Kitchen Confidential”. At times in this memoir, Tony Bourdain renounces his title as the “culinary bad boy” as Medium Raw takes us on the journey in which he acknowledges his responsibility not only to himself, but to the family that he has made, and his position as a father.  His adventures through culinary meccas allowed him to resolve the issues he had been having which has made him financially successful, but not spiritually. He realizes that his rebellious acts were good in the time being as it reflected that current emotional state, but as he evolved both his palette and emotional state of being, it is realized that he is starting to embody the motto that discipline may give you more freedom.

In Cathy Erway’s memoir, “The art of Eating In”, she too uses food as an escape. Looking for some sort of freedom and independence in which she was not receiving at work nor in her relationship, she looked to food as way for her to reclaim power.  She realized that eating out was also limited her, so Cathy decided to take on the challenge of eating in and making her own food for 2 years. Living in a city where food is convenient because it is “grab and go”, she had to make a conscious effort to focus on the food she was making for herself, which in turn made her focus inwardly on herself.


Although these food memoirs display that food is healing, it also demonstrates that food somehow reverts foodies back to gender norms. Although Kim Severson is a lesbian, it is through food, her role of being in the kitchen, that her mother begins to try and understand her sexuality.  Cathy Erway’s memoir also illustrates the notion of her finding herself by spending more time in the kitchen. Anthony Bourdain is known for being notorious, but it is through his last culinary adventure in the book he begins to re-evaluate his life as a Foodie, as a husband, but most importantly as a father.

Motives: Why is this topic important?

Food writing is becoming a really popular genre that needs to be explored. Food and the relationship to food is always seen as something that is “feminine”, or gives off “feminine energy”, but studies have chosen that it is men that dominate the culinary scene. I would like to explore and see if the genre that has the sense of neutrality ( since everybody eats food, and most people love it) actually places rigidity back into gender.

Scholarly Resources:

  1. ^ Butler, Judith (1999) [1990]. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (Subversive bodily acts, IV Bodily Inscriptions, Performative Subversions). New York: Routledge. p. 179.
  Title: Consumption, food and taste : culinary antinomies and commodity culture / Alan Warde. JSTOR. 20 October 2010.

Carole M. Counihan

Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 2 (Apr., 1988), pp. 51-62

JSTOR. 20 October 2010.

Carole M. Counihan

Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 2 (Apr., 1992), pp. 55-66JSTOR. 20 October 2010.

Title: Towards Queering Food Studies: Foodways, Heteronormativity, and Hungry Women in Chicana Lesbian Writing JSTOR. 20 October 2010.

Citation: Ehrhardt, Julia C.  “Towards Queering Food Studies: Foodways, Heteronormativity, and Hungry Women in Chicana Lesbian Writing”. Food and Foodways: 14.2 ( 2006 Apr-June), pp. 91-109.

Title: Consuming Prose: The Delectable Rhetoric of Food Writing

Citation: Bloom, Lynn Z.  “Consuming Prose: The Delectable Rhetoric of Food Writing”. College English: 70.4 (2008 Mar.), pp. 346-362.

Document Type: Bibliographic citation; journal article

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2 Responses to ' Research Paper Topic/Thesis '

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  1.    pamelaburger said,

    on October 20th, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    This is an interesting topic. I don’t quite understand, though, how cooking “reverts” the chefs “back to gender norms.” Please elaborate on this in your prospectus (it’s also ok if you want to write a paper that explores gender norms and the relationship btwn gender in these texts, even if they don’t necessarily equate to traditional gender roles). Looking forward to reading the prospectus.

  2.    hoodia supplement said,

    on April 9th, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    It’s really a cool and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

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