International Workshop on Food and Representation

Several scholars have turned to studying food as an all-encompassing subject, considering it a powerful lens through which to examine wider changes in society. Mass migration, uneven development and globalisation, climate change and the rise of new technologies and marketplaces, contribute to the ways we think about and interact with food in the everyday. Food is not simply a culinary practice within our society, but enters our lives through interrogations of the origins of certain food items, the tasting of “ethnic foods” in cosmopolitan centres, and the consumption of seductive images of haute-cuisine on our television screens. In particular, food in film plays a crucial role as it represents a multitude of social interactions, that encompass meaning, experience and action in both sensory and political realms. Considering the increasing centrality of food in social and academic life, and the ever-growing number of films, documentaries, TV shows, and videos on social media platforms which focus on different aspects of food, cooking and nutrition, we seek to understand the effects of representing and viewing food on the constructions of race, class, gender and sexuality, as well as explore the relationship between food and migration, ecology, sustainability, ethics and body politics. This is the second workshop in the series of workshops on the theme of Food and Representation. The first workshop entitled “Food and Migration in European and Global Cinema” was held at the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies in Sweden in November 2018. In the forthcoming two-day workshop, we bring together a number of postcolonial, gender, film and media studies scholars from Europe, Australia and Malaysia – whose research is concerned with the representation and performance of food to explore issues of race, identity, class, gender and sexuality. We are particularly pleased to welcome our international guests: Professor Johan Höglund, Director of the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies (Sweden), who will give a research seminar on “Love in a time of Extinction: Precarity, Food and Postcolonial Studies in the Anthropocene”, Dr Sukhmani Khorana, Senior Lecturer at the University of Wollongong with a presentation on the decolonisation of foodie culture, and Dr Vanessa Lee, postdoctoral researcher at the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies with her latest research on food, national identity and otherness in French cinema.

Workshop Program on 29 October and 30 October 2019

DAY 1 – Tuesday 29 October 2019

9:00 – 9:30 Welcome

9:30 – 10:15 First session: “Can producers and consumers of colour decolonise foodie culture?: An exploration through food media” - Dr Sukhmani Khorana

10:15 – 10:45 Coffee/Tea Break

10:45 – 11:30 Second session:  “The Performative Documentary and Autobiography: Questions of Performance and Subjectivity in Kylie Kwong and Poh Ling Yeow’s Cooking Television Programmes” - Ms Jacqui Kong

12:00 – 14:00 Malaysian Cuisine Tasting Session @ Le Cordon Bleu

14:15 - 15:00 Third session: “Food, Otherness and National Identity in French and French-language Cinemas” - Dr Vanessa Lee

15:00 – 15:30 Coffee/Tea Break

15:30 – 16:15 Fourth session: “Revisiting Godliness in Yasmin Ahmad’s Gubra: Food, Gender, Sexuality and Theology in Malaysia” –  Dr Joseph Goh

16: 30 – 18:30 Film Screening: Gubra (2006, Malaysia, dir. Yasmin Ahmad, 109min)

19:00 - Workshop Dinner 

DAY 2 – Wednesday 30 October 2019

10:00 – 11:00 Research Seminar: “Love in a time of Extinction: Precarity, Food and Postcolonial Studies in the Anthropocene”- Dr Johan Höglund

11:00 - 11:30 Coffee/Tea Break

11:30 - 12:15 Fifth Session: "The internationalisation of Mukbang: a paradigm of binge eating on YouTube" - Dr Melissa Wong

12:15 - 13:00 Sixth Session: “Brewing Business: The Portrayal of Artisanal Cafés and the Barista Identity” - Dr May Ting Beh

13:00 - 14:30 Lunch 

14:30 - 16:00 Roundtable discussion: outcomes and future actions