Food of the Gods Area – Film & History 2016

Country: USA

City: Milwaukee

Abstr. due: 15.07.2016

Dates: 26.10.16 — 30.10.16

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: ASLE


The time is ripe for us to turn our attention to food in a robust and nuanced way. More than simply looking toward loving depictions of food as a devoted handicraft or object of human labor, modern food production—which spans the same historical epoch as film production—must include a look at the ways that humans have begun to obsess or worry over food’s presence in our daily lives. Comprising the mass of worldy goods that nourish our bodies, contemporary foods are akin to the Greek pharmakon, a cure or poison in a single bite. Cheap industrial foods, for example, can feed poor nations in times of famine, but in overabundance lead to obesity and lower quality of life, or if contaminated, kill untold numbers. Like the angry gods of days of yore, food (and not to mention the people who make and control it) holds the power of life and death.

This area is expansive and is open to any innovative approach to food and beverage, eating or drinking. Additionally, proposals looking at filmed media other than feature-length motion pictures (television, web-based sources, etc.) are welcome and encouraged. More than just depictions of ambrosia, this area seeks presentations that explore the ways film helps us of think about what we ingest into the temples that are our bodies. Topics could include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:

film histories of food ideas (vegetarianism, production, agriculture, etc.)
food as god—film, food, and the commodity fetish
food as sanctuary—depictions of eating in dangerous times
food and class difference
food and nutrition information (the “gospel of food”)
magical foods
film (as) advertising/product placement
visual elements and “feasts for the eyes”
conceptual work (e.g. film and the non-filmable senses such as taste and smell)
documentary traditions relating to food
food aversion, horror/the grotesque, and profane
heretical eating—food and subversion
hunger and depictions of want
readings of specific films and food power in historical and/or cultural context

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