Remembrance of Repasts: An Anthropology of Food and Memory

Front Cover
Berg Publishers, Jan 9, 2001 - Cooking - 211 pages
Proust's famous madeleine captures the power of food to evoke some of our deepest memories. Why does food hold such power? What does the growing commodification and globalization of food mean for our capacity to store the past in our meals - in the smell of olive oil or the taste of a fresh-cut fig? This book offers a theoretical account of the interrelationship of culture, food and memory. Sutton challenges and expands anthropology's current focus on issues of embodiment, memory and material culture, especially in relation to transnational migration and the flow of culture across borders and boundaries. The Greek island of Kalymnos in the eastern Aegean, where Islanders claim to remember meals long past -- both humble and spectacular - provides the main setting for these issues, as well as comparative materials drawn from England and the United States. Despite the growing interest in anthropological accounts of food and in the cultural construction of memory, the intersection of food with memory has not been accorded sustained examination. Cultural practices of feasting and fasting, global flows of food as both gifts and commodities, the rise of processed food and the relationship of orally transmitted recipes to the vast market in speciality cookbooks tie traditional anthropological mainstays such as ritual, exchange and death to more current concerns with structure and history, cognition and the 'anthropology of the senses'. Arguing for the crucial role of a simultaneous consideration of food and memory, this book significantly advances our understanding of cultural processes and reformulates current theoretical preoccupations.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

A Proustian Anthropology?
1
DoingReading Cooking
125
The Repast Recaptured
159
Copyright

3 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

David E. Sutton Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Southern Illinois University.

Bibliographic information