Following the 2017 postgraduate research workshop hosted by the SOAS Food Studies Centre, in collaboration with University of Warwick Food GRP, this article brings together nine research briefs written by various participants. Inspired by the workshop's provocative theme, “What Is Good Food?”, each author explores how food categories are shaped and negotiated in different contexts and across scales. In this multi-authored article, the question of “good” food is first presented as contingent upon nutritional, economic, political, ritual, or moral conditions. Each author then reveals how globally defined notions of food's goodness are often resisted on the ground by producers and consumers, beyond the notions of ethics or “alternative” food movements that have often been the emphasis of previous literature dealing with the topic of good food. Taken together, this article scrutinizes the effects of various hierarchies of power and invites readers to reassess why and how good food continues to be a contested category.
Re-examining the Contested Good: Proceedings from a Postgraduate Workshop on Good Food
Katharina Graf is a postdoctoral research fellow at the SOAS Food Studies Centre. Her research interests pertain to the preparation of food, material and social change, gender, urban space, food security, risk and uncertainty, and global food markets. Regionally, she focuses on the Middle East and North Africa, especially Morocco.
Anna Cohen is a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology at the SOAS Food Studies Centre, University of London (UK). She has previously worked in community arts and theatre. Her research focuses on food, social change, and placemaking in street markets in East London.
Brandi Simpson Miller holds an MA in World History from Georgia State University. She is a doctoral researcher at the Department of History at SOAS, University of London. Her research interests include the study of the social history of Ghana, particularly the political aspects of global and local food practices from the precolonial period to Ghanaian independence.
Francesca Vaghi is a PhD student in anthropology, affiliated to SOAS and the Thomas Coram Research Unit at University College London's (UCL) Institute of Education. Her current research spans a variety of areas—medical anthropology, the anthropology of food, childhood studies, gender, and class and ethnicity in the UK.
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Katharina Graf, Anna Cohen, Brandi Simpson Miller, Francesca Vaghi; Re-examining the Contested Good: Proceedings from a Postgraduate Workshop on Good Food. Gastronomica 1 February 2019; 19 (1): 91–93. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2019.19.1.91
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