The multifaceted relationship between women and food in Western culture is captured by the Christian myth of the Fall narrated in Genesis with the episode of Eve and the apple. Eve’s sinful bite represents a key symbolic meeting between women and food in a long list of metaphorical meanings associated with the act of eating and ideas of femininity in the collective imaginary. Food and eating-related-activities, such as cooking and serving meals for the family, have often been seen as signifiers of something else in women’s lives: lust, affection, desire for emotional shelter and expression of frustration, to mention only a few of the nuances associated with food consumption. Looking at how they have been portrayed cooking and serving meals to others, while often denying themselves the pleasure of eating, helps us understand the role food and food-related-activities have played, and still play, in women’s lives. We seek contributions exploring how women’s relationship with food has been represented in Italian literature, theatre, film, advertisements, visual arts and other forms of cultural expressions from the nineteenth century, when the female identity was being defined in national culture, to the present. We are particularly interested in essays offering a close reading of the symbolic meaning of food and the way it intersects with Italian women’s socio-cultural history and the feminist movement, addressing issues of gender, identity and politics of the body.
Please send your abstract of 250 words in English, together with a brief biography of 100 words to Claudia Bernardi (Claudia.Bernardi@vuw.ac.nz), Daniele De Feo (email@example.com) and Francesca Calamita (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 1st, 2017. Acceptance will be notified by April 30th, 2017 and 7000 word essays in English will be due by January 12th, 2018.