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The Food Studies Caucus of the American Studies Association serves as a network for scholars working on projects that engage the production, consumption, and representation of food across the many disciplines that cohere in American Studies. This caucus views the study of food as offering the possibility of a radically cross-disciplinary and trans-national re-engagement of key topics in studies of the Americas. While intersecting with other Food Studies communities, this caucus differs in that it offers a space for those that see food as central to the themes that are at the forefront of American Studies, including race, class, gender and identity, immigration, community and diaspora, social and labor history, empire, globalization and state formation. While members of this caucus work in the diverse fields of literature, geography, history, cultural studies, urban studies, ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, identity studies, gender studies, among numerous others, this Caucus actively encourages collaboration across subfields and historical periods in order to develop new directions for teaching and researching food in all of its contexts.
The Food Studies Caucus plans to sponsor a growing range of activities designed to create an ongoing forum for members of the Food Studies Community within the ASA. We work to address and promote the common interests of scholars and students through a variety of initiatives, which will include:
- Annual Food Studies Caucus business meeting to be held during the ASA Annual Conference. Members of the Food Studies Caucus will gather during the ASA Conference to plan the activities of the Caucus for the coming year.
Participation in the caucus is open to any interested member of the ASA. A steering committee works to carry out the goals of the caucus on an ongoing basis.
- Annual reception during the conference of the ASA. The reception will create a networking space for those within the ASA that study food. This event presents an informal opportunity for interaction and collegiality among members of the ASA Food Studies Caucus.
- At least one Food Studies Caucus sponsored session each year at the American Studies Association meeting as well as the encouragement of the presentation of work on food in other sessions.
- An ASA Food Studies Caucus moderated email discussion group (or blog) that is open to all members of the Food Studies community, but focuses specifically on issues that are central to the cross-disciplinary field of American Studies.
- The caucus will also, through various initiatives, encourage graduate work in food studies in the American context, recognizing that this work is sometimes seen as out of place in traditional disciplines. Students are thus often particularly in need of mentorship and this Caucus offers a networking space for that mentorship to come from outside of their programs.