The Rhetoric of Food : Discourse, Materiality, and Power book cover
1st Edition

The Rhetoric of Food
Discourse, Materiality, and Power

ISBN 9780415727563
Published September 20, 2013 by Routledge
286 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations

USD $59.95

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Book Description

This book focuses on the rhetoric of food and the power dimensions that intersect this most fundamental but increasingly popular area of ideology and practice, including politics, culture, lifestyle, identity, advertising, environment, and economy. The essays visit a rich variety of dominant discourses and material practices through a range of media, channels, and settings including the White House, social movement rhetoric, televisual programming, urban gardens, farmers markets, domestic and international agriculture institutions, and popular culture. Rhetoricians address the cultural, political, and ecological motives and consequences of humans’ strategic symbolizing and attendant choice-making, visiting discourses and practices that have impact on our species in their producing, distributing, regulating, marketing, packaging, consuming, and talking about food. The essays in this book are representative of dominant and marginal discourses as well as perennial issues surrounding the rhetoric of food and include macro-, meso-, and micro-level analyses and case studies, from international neoliberal trade policies to media and social movement discourse to small group and interactional dynamics. This volume provides an excellent range and critical illumination of rhetoric’s role as both instrumental and constitutive force in food representations, and its symbolic and material effects.

Table of Contents

Foreword Raymie E. McKerrow Introduction  Joshua J. Frye and Michael S. Bruner  1. The Operations of Nature Sir Albert Howard  2. Exposing Empty Bellies/Empty Calories: Representing Hunger and Obesity Jean Retzinger  3. Politics on Your Plate: Building and Burning Bridges across Organic, Vegetarian, and Vegan Discourse Laura K. Hahn and Michael S. Bruner  4. "Food Talk:" Bridging Power in a Globalizing World John R. Thompson  5. Food, Health, and Well-being: Positioning Functional Foods Alison Henderson and Vanessa Johnson  6. Parsing Poverty: Farm Subsidies and American Farmland Trust Maxwell Schnurer  7. Pardon Your Turkey and Eat Him Too: Antagonism Over Meat Eating in the Discourse of the Presidential Pardoning of the Thanksgiving Turkey Carrie Packwood Freeman and Oana Leventi-Perez  8. Resignified Urban Landscapes: From Abject to Agricultural Natashia Seegert  9. Lee Kyung Hae and the Dynamics of Social Movement Self-Sacrifice Joshua J. Frye  10. Let's Move: The Ideological Constraints of Liberalism on Michelle Obama’s Obesity Rhetoric Abigail Seiler  11. Spatial Affects and Rhetorical Relations: At the Cherry Creek Farmers’ Market Justin Eckstein and Donovan Conley  12. Revolution on Primetime TV: Jamie Oliver Takes On the US School Food System Garrett M. Broad  13. The Man and the Cannibal: A Moral Perspective on Eating the Other Alexander V. Kozin  14. On Establishing a More Authentic Relationship with Food: From Heidegger to Oprah on Slowing Down Fast Food Kara Shultz  15. Narratives of Hunger: Voices at the Margins of Neoliberal Development Mohan J. Dutta  Contributors  Notes  Index

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Joshua Frye is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at SUNY Oneonta, USA.

Michael S. Bruner is a Professor in the Department of Communication at Humboldt State University, USA.


"The aim is a laudable one, as this emerging intersection is worthy of scholarly attention. Pairing a discussion of food politics with a rhetorical perspective is a beneficial way to explore the symbols surrounding food and food itself as a symbol…The variety of approaches, guiding theories, and topics makes this book an interesting and entertaining read concerning the intersection of food and power…this book’s offering of prominent and meaningful inquiries would aid both classes and research into relevant topics." --Emma Frances Bloomfield, University of Southern California, International Journal of Communication