Odysseys of Plates and Palates: Food, Society and Sociality

Volume Editor: Catherine Gallin
This volume was first published by Inter-Disciplinary Press in 2014.

Is food merely fuel to keep us alive? Consuming food is not simply about biological and nutritional needs. Rather, food, like anything people engage with, is inherently multi-faceted. The context of food and its discourses involve an interplay of our cognition and is a medium for our memory and identity. Food, from its mundane modes of production to the consumption of a single meal or even to the global networks which bring foods from distant lands to one’s plate, reflects and creates hegemonic relations between groups and individuals, defining ‘good’ and ‘bad’ behaviour. Food has been discussed since ancient times, appearing in numerous ancient texts. It has both been described as art and is the subject of art. Food then, is an expression of how we understand our world and humanity’s place in it.

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Simeon S. Magliveras is an assistant professor in anthropology at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia (KFUPM). His research has focused on the expressions and tensions between national, ethnic and minority identities in Greece. Presently, he is exploring the fluidity of guest workers’ identities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has also done work in Albania, Laos and Singapore.

Catherine Gallin is completing her Ph.D. in Food Anthropology at the University of Barcelona. Working as an English-through-the-arts teacher for children and adults, she gives cooking, baking and culture workshops for students of all ages, and makes bread as an assistant baker at Barcelona’s Panes Creativos Bakery. She is always mixing both the hands-on and the theoretical in her work in Spain and beyond. She is currently conducting fieldwork for her doctoral dissertation on the construction and expression of Jewish identity through food in Austin, Texas and Barcelona, Catalonia.