This collection of scholarly essays presents new work from an emerging line of inquiry: modern outlaw narratives and the textual and cultural relevance of food and feasting. Food, its preparation and its consumption, is presented in outlaw narratives as central points of human interaction, community, conflict, and fellowship. Feast scenes perform a wide variety of functions, serving as cultural repositories of manners and behaviors, catalysts for adventure, or moments of regrouping and redirecting narratives. The book argues that modern outlaw narratives illuminate a potent cross-cultural need for freedom, solidarity, and justice, and it examines ways in which food and feasting are often used to legitimate difference, create discord, and manipulate power dynamics.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. "Bred up a Butcher": The Meat Trade and Its Connection Criminality in Eighteenth-Century England 2. The Fare of "Sanguinary Devils": Feast and Storytelling in The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta 3. "I’d Dream of Feasts": Reading Southworth’s The Hidden Hand as a Dual Outlaw Narrative 4. Breaking Bad While Baking Bread: The Cereal Politics of Belle Starr’s Outlaw Reputation 5. The Twentieth-Century American Outlaw Feast: Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test 6. Food Fight!: Excess and Deficiency in National Lampoon’s Animal House 7. Post-Apocalyptic Outlaws: Weaponizing Food and Community in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games 8. Succulent Texts: Desire, Outlaws, and Consumption in Popular Romance
Alexander L. Kaufman is the Reed D. Voran Distinguished Professor of Humanities and Professor of English at Ball State University, where he teaches in the Honors College.
Penny Vlagopoulos is Assistant Professor of English at St. Lawrence University.