Backstory!

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Next week I will be appearing on Backstory, a public radio history show out of the University of Virginia, to talk about my book and about Sylvester Graham, who appears as a main character in the second chapter.

My argument in the book, and in the interview, is that Graham is a major character in U.S. food history, really the founder of mainstream American conversations about race, food, sexuality and morality. Here are links to Graham’s two most important books, A Lecture to Young Men on Chastity and The Treatise on Bread and Breadmaking.

You can buy my book at NYU Press, or on Amazon.

Second Printing!

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Racial Indigestion has entered its second printing, and with full color insert again. My latte runneth over. You can buy Racial Indigestion here, on kindle here and at an independent bookstore, here.

New Book Series! Ecologies of Consumption: Cultures of Food, Hunger and Appetite

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I am excited to let people know that I have started a new book series with NYU Press, entitled Ecologies of Consumption: Cultures of Food, Hunger and Appetite. The series is aimed at pushing the limits of food studies as a field. Consider sending in your proposals! I will be taking meetings at the American Studies Association conference. 

Ecologies of Consumption will publish interdisciplinary scholarship in food studies, with particular attention to work that expands the boundaries of the field. We are interested in research that interrogates the relationship between production and consumption, as well as projects that explore the definitional boundaries of food itself.
 
The circulation of food and labor between continents was at the heart of colonialism and thus conditional to the birth of biopolitics and agribusiness; hunger and plenitude continue to be unevenly mapped onto that colonial history. Building on a materialist understanding of this history, this series asks: How does what is edible become palatable? How has the meaning of food and eating changed over time? What, given the current planetary crisis, will eating and food become?
 
This series will track shifts in the global and transnational politics of food, hunger and eating as they map onto older circuits of trade and empire. Scholarship will investigate the texture, flavor, and sensorial affects that adhere to eating as well as hunger, life as well as death. We seek to publish work that explores the material world as it is shaped between humans, animals and the biological.
 
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:
 
Submissions should take the form of a 3-5 page proposal outlining the intent and scope of the project, its merits in comparison to existing texts, and the audience it is designed to reach. You should also include a detailed Table of Contents, 2-3 sample chapters, and a current copy of your curriculum vitae. Please refer to NYU Press’s submission guidelines.
 
Please send submission materials to:
 
Kyla Wazana Tompkins
℅ Department of English
Pomona College
140 West 6th St.
Claremont, CA 91711

Lora Romero First Book Prize

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I am utterly humbled to announce that my book Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in the Nineteenth Century won the Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize from the American Studies Association. Lora Romero was feminist faculty at Stanford where I did my doctoral work so that makes this award especially gratifying and moving. I’m just amazed; I hope to use my work to earn the right to have my name listed below hers.

Lora Romero, presente.

(New) Dates for Upcoming Talks

imageI will be giving talks about my book and presenting some new work at the following institutions this year. I’ll post details as I get them.

2013    Colby College, February 12.

2013    Bowdoin College, February 13.

2013    University of Pennsylvania Americanists Group. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. February 20.

2013   University of Maryland, American Studies. Baltimore, Maryland. March 8.

2013    College of William and Mary. Keynote address. Williamsburg, Virginia. March 14.

2013    Harvard University; Charles Warren Center. March 28.

2013    Simmons College, April 17.

2013    NYU and The New School Food Studies, co-sponsored. May 1.

2013    Stanford University. May 10.

2013    ACCUTE plenary address, Victoria, B.C. June 1-4.

2013    Washington University in Saint Louis, October 10-11.

I was recently asked to write a response to Lauren Berlant’s Cruel Optimism, a book that has been intensely formative for me, and to whose standards I aspire in my work. The response was posted at the Social Text blog, Periscope, alongside a group of amazing and smart intellectuals and academics. 
Here is a link to the blog and here is a link to my article, which takes up questions about eating, obesity, food and the politics of precarity and pleasure. Cruel Optimism won the Allan Bray Memorial Book Prize for 2012. High-res

I was recently asked to write a response to Lauren Berlant’s Cruel Optimism, a book that has been intensely formative for me, and to whose standards I aspire in my work. The response was posted at the Social Text blog, Periscope, alongside a group of amazing and smart intellectuals and academics. 

Here is a link to the blog and here is a link to my article, which takes up questions about eating, obesity, food and the politics of precarity and pleasure. Cruel Optimism won the Allan Bray Memorial Book Prize for 2012.

Above is a picture of morcilla, a kind of blood sausage made in Puerto Rico. The idea of innards, guts and offal is central to one of my upcoming projects, a co-edited special issue of GLQ: The Gay and Lesbian Quarterly, entitled On The Visceral. The cfp has its own tumblr here. Please visit: the deadline for abstracts is February 15th.

Above is a picture of morcilla, a kind of blood sausage made in Puerto Rico. The idea of innards, guts and offal is central to one of my upcoming projects, a co-edited special issue of GLQ: The Gay and Lesbian Quarterly, entitled On The Visceral. The cfp has its own tumblr here. Please visit: the deadline for abstracts is February 15th.

The introduction to Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in The Nineteenth Century lays out the fundamentals of my argument and the outline of the chapters. You can find it here.

The introduction to Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in The Nineteenth Century lays out the fundamentals of my argument and the outline of the chapters. You can find it here.

This is one of my favorite images in the book. It’s an image of the black theatre in the late nineteenth century. The image is being used to advertise a product but more importantly for my purposes, it shows an active and vital black cultural sphere, one in which the historical relationship between the black subject and food is picked up and used in theatrical production as an affirmation of desire.  High-res

This is one of my favorite images in the book. It’s an image of the black theatre in the late nineteenth century. The image is being used to advertise a product but more importantly for my purposes, it shows an active and vital black cultural sphere, one in which the historical relationship between the black subject and food is picked up and used in theatrical production as an affirmation of desire.