Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Global Food History
For a Special Issue on
Empires of Disgust
15 February 2022
01 September 2022
Empires of Disgust
While scientists have argued that disgust is a physiological process designed to protect the body from ingesting harmful substances, it is also a culturally constructed category, an emotion in flux across times, places, and identities. Scholars have catalogued expressions of disgust in classical history, but the word “disgust” did not appear in the English language until the early seventeenth century, at the very moment that England commenced its colonial invasion of the Americas and beyond. Colonizers needed a new word to describe the revulsion that they felt at the foodways of the peoples they tried to colonize. So, too, did peoples around the world express their own disgust with the foods and practices of the colonizers. The history of disgust is thus the global history of encountering and rejecting other cultures. In the words of Sara Ahmed in The Cultural Politics of Emotion, disgust “operates as a contact zone; it is about how things come into contact with other things.” While disgusted people have often argued that their revulsion is innate and bodily, disgust is frequently a reaction to otherness. Throughout history, disgust has served to police categories of race, class, religion, sexuality, and gender, among others. Expressing disgust with others’ foodways has been a means of dehumanizing these others and solidifying one’s identification with one’s own culture. Yet, as Ahmed also argues, disgust is inextricable from desire. If food is one of the foundations of cultural identity, then consuming the foods of other cultures has long represented the frightening possibility of being consumed by the other.
This special issue of Global Food History will consider disgust at the nexus of histories of food, empire, and emotions. The issue invites submissions (in English) concerning any time period or geography, and encourages articles that examine disgust within imperial or colonial frameworks.
Interested authors are asked to submit a 150-word abstract and a brief biography by February 15, 2022, to the special issue editor, Dr. Carla Cevasco ([email protected]). Abstracts will be reviewed by the editor and selected authors will submit full essays (8,000-10,000 words) by September 1, 2022. All articles will undergo the full peer review process.
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