Satiating our ceaseless hunger for authenticity.
Lost Feast: Culinary Extinction and the Future of Food, Lenore Newman ECW Press, 2019 &
Pure Adulteration: Cheating on Nature in the Age of Manufactured Food, Benjamin R. Cohen, University of Chicago Press, 2019
“How to Think with Your Body: Teaching Critical Eating Literacy through Instagram.” Part of Food and Instagram: Identity, Influence & Resistance (Forthcoming from Bloomsbury Academic), edited by Emily Contois and Zenia Kish.
“I want to do my paper on activated charcoal. Is it actually good for you, or am I just seeing it everywhere because it looks so good on Instagram?” A visually charismatic health fad, activated charcoal illustrates the frame of reference my students on both coasts have brought to our interdisciplinary classroom discussions of American food culture. What kind of diet is truly healthy? And what kind of diet just looks that way? I discuss how students on both coasts have critically interrogated everything from the neurological effects of food porn to the racial politics of appropriative health trends like matcha–and how to cope with the unattainable body images of IG models and influencers, all through processing food less with their eyes and more with their bodies.
“Revisited & Undone: Fresh Perspectives on Molecules and Life in the Twentieth Century” (presented at the ISHPSSB 2019 meeting, prepared with Hannah Landecker, Lisa Onaga, Mathias Grote, Soraya de Chadarevian, Angela Creager, Daniel Liu, Gina Surita)
This essay considers how historical approaches to the molecularization of life have lent to a collapsing of molecular biology with molecular genetics over the last several decades in order to recast ideas about what topics can further contribute to the history of molecular biology. From the study of cellular membranes and structures to histories of metabolism and diet, to the practices of laboratory work, still new horizons remain open for questioning. Doing so will encourage attention to hitherto neglected aspects such as about the relationship of life and matter, or chemistry and biology. Recognizing that there are plural molecularizations and approaches to their study helps decenter the historical narrative from one that is unified around the historical legacy of molecular genetics following the discovery of DNA. This plurality of topical and analytic approaches, in turn, serves to encourage scholarly attention on more diverse historical actors that stands to enrich the field in generative ways.