Sensory Journeys: Foodscapes of Movement and Belonging for Difficult Times

Monday, 16 July 2018: 10:30-12:20
TG07 Senses and Society (host committee)

Language: English

This interdisciplinary panel takes Iain Chambers’ Mediterranean Crossings as its starting point. Writing of Claudia Roden’s claim that her collection of homely recipes summon “the ghosts of her past” (a past as a Sephardic Jew in Cairo under British colonial rule), Chambers says: “there is a constellation of being that continues to survive. …The smells from the kitchen, like the sounds coaxed from an ‘oud or guitar, can suggest connections, collusions, and subsequent maps of meaning that rigid grids of national geographies are neither able to contain or recognise” (130-131). Using sensory understandings as ways to interrupt “rigid” national geographies and to provide alternative analyses of movement of people through space and time, this panel seeks to unravel meanings of migration, diaspora and nomadism for the troubled present. The sensescapes of such movement, together with their “entangled” relations of power, provide subtle, sometimes less usual, insights into the complexities of a world shaped by constant change yet, contradictorily, by efforts directed towards border fixing and cultural exclusions. So, a focus, in particular, on the sensory resonances of everyday exchanges (such as  food preparation and food sharing), might allow us to capture intimations of Chambers’ “constellation of being” while raising questions of asymmetries in power, in ease of global movement and in intimate belonging practices. Such resonances might gesture towards a Bhabha-style “third space” – glimpses of sensory geographies outside and beyond dominant spectres of global “rootlessness” and their opposite, a relentlessly pursued defence of territorialisation.
Session Organizer:
Jean DURUZ, University of South Australia, School of Creative industries, Australia
Dennis ZUEV, ISCTE-IUL, Portugal
Oral Presentations
Sensory Politics in a Multicultural City-State: Foodways, Religion and the Everyday
Noorman ABDULLAH, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Filtered: The Café and Contemporary Urban Experience
Emma FELTON, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
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