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CFP: Food, Film, and Ecocriticism at ASLE

2010 August 14
by smonani

Panel Submission Deadline: October 15, 2010

The success of the Food Network and The Discovery Network series The Deadliest Catch demonstrates the continuing emphasis on food consumption and production in a global economic environment, an emphasis also found in literature and film. Publications such as Michael Pollan’s Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education (1991) and The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006), for example, laid the groundwork for documentaries and feature films addressing environmental consequences of the food industry have become increasingly popular. See, for example, Darwin’s Nightmare (2004), Supersize Me (2004) to We Feed the World (2005), Our Daily Bread (2005), Fast Food Nation (2006) and the recent critically acclaimed King Korn (2007), Food, Inc. (2008), The Cove (2009), The End of the Line (2009).

This panel will explore and evaluate filmic representations of the environmental consequences of food production and consumption in relation to both content and style with at least one question in mind: When do documentary and/or feature films addressing the food industry move from document to art?

For example, the Austrian film, Our Daily Bread may provide the most effective argument against the move to industrial farming because it eliminates verbal explanation altogether. By relying exclusively on visual rhetoric, Our Daily Bread works as a powerful rhetorical tool, undiluted by either ambivalent multiple viewpoints or a voiceover that sometimes disguises the consequences of industrial farming on display. Multiple readings of a variety of films with food consumption or production at their center are welcome.

We are seeking proposals of approximately 600 words that address this broad theme of food and film in relation to the environment. Proposals from a variety of disciplines and perspectives are welcome.

Please send abstracts by email to Eastern Illinois University Professors: Robin Murray and Joseph Heumann at by October 15 and include your name, email, and affiliation.

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