Moment Call for Papers: Food Cultures

19 Aralık 2022 (Pazartesi)
01 Nisan 2023 (Cumartesi)

Eating is at the top of our hierarchy of basic needs as human beings. As a biological necessity, eating food is a driving force that started civilizations in certain narratives. The changes in the bodies of humans who began to cook and eat the raw things they found in nature by controlling fire marked the beginning of changes in both human civilization and thus culture. Eating, cooking, and the social relations around food are among the primary elements of culture. Food culture has always evolved and continues to do so, according to the geography, production, and lifestyle of human beings since the existence of humanity.

The importance of food as the most significant and strategic tool in people’s struggle for survival against both nature and the “other” is also related to its symbolic meaning. The meanings attributed to eating and food by the culture to which they belong, and the consumers also indicate their potential as a means of communication. Roland Barthes suggests that foods serve as signs in the act of communication which is defined as the production and transmission of meaning. Foods we eat refer to something other than themselves and are used to answer the questions “who am I?” and “who are you?”. Deciding what is edible and inedible; when and with whom to eat; what is healthy and not; and how and by whom food is cooked and served all produce meanings, and these meanings define our boundaries and enable us to categorize and understand the social world. However, the pace of the age that we live in and the phenomenon of globalization, along with the fluidity and ambiguity of meanings and signs, also have repercussions in this symbolic world of meanings created by eating and foods. On the other hand, what we eat, how much we eat, and where and with whom we eat becomes more and more important every day. From foodprints to food literacy, from body shape to fear of food, from healthy eating to veganism, from the right to food to food sovereignty and gastronomy, new grounds for discussion emerge within the relationship of food with culture, economy, and politics. Although it may seem like an ordinary everyday practice, social relations around food are multi-layered. There are psychological, sociological, economic, political, cultural, and ecological processes and layers behind a loaf of bread or a plate of food.

In the age we live in, food cultures are one of the areas where we can simply observe cultural change. Food cultures constitute one of the significant aspects that not only brings societies and therefore cultures closer but also transforms them and sharpens differences in the age of global communication. In our age when it gets more and more difficult to define the boundaries of any food geographically, cultures have gone through remarkable changes as they become different but similar, and again, similar yet different. This is precisely why food studies have emerged as an interdisciplinary field since the 1990s. It has become an enormous field of study with the methodological diversity and richness of perspectives of many disciplines of social science such as anthropology, history, geography, sociology, communication sciences, economics, and ethnology. Therefore, with Moment Journal's issue "Food Cultures", we wish to contribute to the field of food studies in this regard.

Discussions around capitalism and the functioning of the food system, the structure of the capitalist food and agricultural system, and the production, distribution, division, and consumption of food, and studies conducted within a wide range of fields such as consumption cultures, globalization, and localization dynamics, migration movements, migration and its effects on food cultures, food and the phenomenon of identity can affect food culture and/or cultures. On the other hand, the plurality of cultural meanings around food is almost infinite. The transformation of the media also plays a major role in this diversity of meanings. Food, which the traditional media had presented in the pages of newspapers or television programs as everyday knowledge and entertainment, has become the creator and carrier of other realities via the new media. The more people's relationship with food has intertwined with their social identities and been shared on social media, the more it has been debated and discussed. The possibilities provided by new media in terms of production and sharing, and social media users who share content via these possibilities, have popularized the subject of food and beverage, and thus enabled the phenomenon of food-focused media to be mentioned in a different context. On the one hand, food media makes gastronomy and food cultures more visible, and on the other hand, it contributes to the transformation and popularization of the profession, making cooks professionals preparing and cooking food, i.e. chefs in popular discourse, more visible than ever before. In today's food culture where almost everyone who eats tends to be defined as a "gourmet" and almost everyone who cooks as a "chef", the diversity, as well as the banality of cultural debates around food, are highly popular. In such a cultural climate, food festivals, the pursuit of gastrodiplomacy (at macro and micro scales) as a subfield of cultural diplomacy, and the marketization of local products with geographical indications by giving them commodity value and ignoring the production and distribution relations of food have significant effects on food cultures. In this special issue, we hope to include brand new discussions on food cultures from various disciplines that intersect and communicate with each other and contribute to the field and pave the way for new questions.

Therefore, we look forward to receiving your papers including theoretical discussions and methodological proposals from the disciplines of communication, sociology and anthropology, and from other disciplines that will contribute to the field of food studies in the June 2023 issue of Moment Journal. The suggested themes for the “Food Cultures” issue include -but are not limited to:

  • Food and Culture
  • Food Cultures
  • Gastronomy and Culinary Cultures
  • Food and Cinema
  • Food and Media
  • Food and Literature
  • Food and Social Media
  • Culinary Books
  • Food and Politics
  • Food and Geography
  • Food and Anthropology
  • Food and Sociology
  • Food and Social Change
  • Food and Social Classes, Inequalities
  • Food and Capitalism
  • Food and Identity
  • Food and Nationalism
  • Food and Narrative
  • Food and Memory
  • Food and Space
  • Food and Health
  • Food and Gender
  • Food and Migration
  • Food and Diasporic Communities
  • Food and Agriculture Policies

Deadline for Submission: April 1, 2023

Şengül İnce
Dr., Faculty Member at the Department of Communication Sciences,
Hacettepe University
Erhan Akarçay
Dr., Faculty Member at the Department of Sociology,
Anadolu University


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