Sneja Gunew

Wall Associate




Department of English Language and Literatures





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Sneja Gunew

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Sneja Gunew – Exploratory Workshops – 1998
During May 1999, the workshop will bring together around 30 participants comprising five leading scholars from the US, the UK, Australia and eastern Canada as well as UBC faculty and graduate students. The participants in the workshop will come to this project from a range of positions and disciplines; the common goal will be to bring together the productive subjects of women, narratives of identity (including self-representation in fiction and films), multiculturalism and food. We will locate our examples in popular as well as "high" culture and will seek historical as well as theoretical explanations for women's self-representations of their relation to food. While there appears to be a great deal or work which looks at women's relationship to food within the analytical frames of pathology there is also a great deal of cultural representation which celebrates the ways in which women's food practices cement family and community relations. We will be looking at the ways in which women use food as a means of communication in its own right and as a metaphor for such social relations in a range of cultural texts. The workshop will discuss a series of overlapping "cluster" of topics: Hunger, Identity and the Gastro-Politics of Food, Women, Nation. This workshop will be used to create future inter- and intra-university networks which will be national, international, and interdisciplinary. To make maximum use of the workshop and the visiting scholars we will be holding a series of bi-monthly meetings to generate a series of questions which will be forwarded to the scholars before the actual workshop itself. The workshop is conceived as planning sessions for a further three-year programme of conferences and publications (articles and book[s]) and the appropriate national grant council funding to with them. We also expect the workshop to give rise to team-taught course materials to the topic of Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Women, Identity, Food.