@ASoulAFire @JaniceOCG #AppetitesAndAnxieties by #CynthiaAnnBaron leads us to ask: How is food represented in @HandmaidsOnHulu & what does it suggest to us about the culture being created in Gilead? Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron is live on Thurs., Jan. 20 at 8 pm ET, w/ “If America Fails?” on the TruthWorks Network YouTube channel, for our discussion on cults, cultures & religion in The Handmaid’s Tale & other films.
Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron published Appetites and Anxieties: Food, Film, and the Politics of Representation in 2014, and uses this space to consider “how films do and do not represent food procurement, preparation, presentation, consumption, clean-up, and disposal,” according to the publisher. Her experience with this topic makes me want to add to our conversation on cults, cultures and religions, this question:
How is food represented in The Handmaid’s Tale, and what does it suggest to us about the culture being created in the world of Gilead?
Does this title bring up any questions for you? — LMO
WATCH Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron, Associate Professor, Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University – LIVE – Thursday, January 20, 2022, 8 pm ET, on the TruthWorks Network YouTube channel, when she joins “If America Fails?: The Coming Tyranny,” in discussion on Cults, Cultures and Religions in The Handmaid’s Tale, modern American culture and film.
“Cinema is a mosaic of memorable food scenes. Detectives drink alone. Gangsters talk with their mouths full. Families around the world argue at dinner. Food documentaries challenge popular consumption-centered visions. In Appetites and Anxieties: Food, Film, and the Politics of Representation, authors Cynthia Baron, Diane Carson, and Mark Bernard use a foodways paradigm, drawn from the fields of folklore and cultural anthropology, to illuminate film’s cultural and material politics. In looking at how films do and do not represent food procurement, preparation, presentation, consumption, clean-up, and disposal, the authors bring the pleasures, dangers, and implications of consumption to center stage.
“In nine chapters, Baron, Carson, and Bernard consider food in fiction films and documentaries-from both American and international cinema. The first chapter examines film practice from the foodways perspective, supplying a foundation for the collection of case studies that follow. Chapter 2 takes a political economy approach as it examines the food industry and the film industry’s policies that determine representations of food in film. In chapter 3, the authors explore food and food interactions as a means for creating community in Bagdad Café, while in chapter 4 they take a close look at 301/302, in which food is used to mount social critique. Chapter 5 focuses on cannibal films, showing how the foodways paradigm unlocks the implications of films that dramatize one of society’s greatest food taboos. In chapter 6, the authors demonstrate ways that insights generated by the foodways lens can enrich genre and auteur studies. Chapter 7 considers documentaries about food and water resources, while chapter 8 examines food documentaries that slip through the cracks of film censorship by going into exhibition without an MPAA rating. Finally, in chapter 9, the authors study films from several national cinemas to explore the intersection of food, gender, and ethnicity.
“Four appendices provide insights from a food stylist, a selected filmography of fiction films and a filmography of documentaries that feature foodways components, and a list of selected works in food and cultural studies. Scholars of film studies and food studies will enjoy the thought-provoking analysis of Appetites and Anxieties.” — Publisher
Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron is an Associate Professor in Theatre and Film at Bowling Green State University, where she researches and teaches; authors scholarly books and articles on subjects related to the discipline; and provides keynote speeches and other presentations at conferences both domestically and internationally. Her research and teaching interests include American Independent Cinema; Screenwriting; Taste Formation; Censorship; Food Studies; Women’s Cinema; and Actor Training, Stardom, and Screen Performance, among other subjects. She has taught courses on intersections between the film-media industry, national security, and cultural moments such as the Cold War and the Vietnam era. Some other courses Dr. Baron teaches are American Independent Cinema; Hollywood, Censorship, and American Culture; and Performance and Theatre in the Americas.
Most recently, she published Acting Indie: Industry, Aesthetics, and Performance (with Yannis Tzioumakis), (2020), which illustrates the many ways that actors contribute to American independent cinema and analyzes industrial developments; Modern Acting: The Lost Chapter of American Film and Theatre (2016), which, in part, highlights women’s key contributions to American film and theatre; and Denzel Washington (2015) where Baron traces the star’s persona and impact on mainstream society. Current book projects include: Recasting (White) Genres: Race, Ethnicity, and Performance in Contemporary Film and Television; Intersecting Aesthetics: Literary Adaptations and Cinematic Representations of Blackness, with co-editor Charlene Regester; and Imprisonment: Representation in Global Film and Media, with co-editor Karen Ritzenhoff. She is co-chair of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Caucus on Class and has participated in events such as the Rethinking Realist Acting Conference in New York, and the Acting in Film Conference in Potsdam. — If America Fails: The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production
READ | Appetites and Anxieties: Food, Film, and the Politics of Representation | by Cynthia Baron, Diane Carson, and Mark Bernard | (Wayne State University Press, 2014)