Compare TWO different approaches to the study of food, and discuss what you find attractive or unhelpful about them.

Compare TWO different approaches to the study of food, and discuss what you find attractive or unhelpful about them.


Discuss all with reference to core readings and use longer reading list to support your answer where applicable. Do not make unsupported claims or vague generalisations but formulate your answer by means of a close reliance upon reading lists texts.
Food 1:

Levi-Strauss, Claude. 1966. The culinary triangle.

Orig., “Le Triangle culinaire,” L’Arc (Aix-en-Provence), No. 26 (1965), pp. 19-29. English versions in New Society (London). December 22. 1966, pp. 937-40 and also (USA) in 1966 The culinary triangle. Partisan Review 33:586-95.

and reprinted, (e.g. in Carole Counihan & Penny Van Esterik’s 1997 ‘Food and Culture: a Reader’).

Mary Douglas 1972. Deciphering a meal.
Daedalus, Vol. 101, No. 1, Winter, 1972. Reprinted many times (e.g. as a chapter in Mary Douglas’ book Implicit Meanings, in Carole Counihan & Penny Van Esterik‘s Food and Cuture: a Reader, also in the OUP Introduction to Mythology) , and also available online at:

Food II:

Barthes, R (1993) ‘Wine and Milk’ and ‘Steak and Chips’ and ‘Vintage and ‘Ornamental Cookery’ in Mythologies; London: Vintage.

Wilk Richard. 1999. ‘ Real Belizean Food”: Building Local Identity in the Transnational Caribbean’. American Anthropologist Volume 101, Issue 2, pages 244–255.

Mukhopadhyay, Bhaskar, 2004. ‘Between Elite Hysteria and Subaltern Carnivalesque: The Politics of Street food in the City of Calcutta’, South Asia Research, vol. 24 no. 1 37-50

Food III:

Dickson, Andrew. 2011. The jouissance of the Lard(er): Gender, desire and anxiety in the weight-loss industry, in Culture and Organization Volume 17, Issue 4.

Mintz, Sidney. 2007. ‘Time, sugar and sweetness’ In (eds) Carole Counihan, Penny Van Esterik Food and culture: a reader?. London, Routledge. ?

Extra Items – for essay writing, exam preparation and following up your interest.
In their own words – works I suggest you might find useful starting points / connections to the course.

Barthes Roland Mythologies
Barthes, Roland 1964 Elements of Semiology.
Bourdieu Pierre 1990 The Logic of Practice (Orig. Fr Le sens pratique)
Bourdieu Pierre 2000 Pascalian Meditations
Cixious Helen 1994 The Helene Cixious Reader. London, Routledge.
Derrida (Barry Stocker) 2007 Basic Writings. London, routledge.
Derrida Jacques 1966 / 1978 Writing and Difference(see esp. ‘Structure, Sign and Play’).
Derrida, Jaques Spectres of Marx
Foucault, Michel 2003. The Essential Foucault: selections. London, New Press.
Gay, Peter (ed) The Freud Reader
Irigaray Luce. Speculum of the other Woman
Kamuf Peggy. 1991 A Derrida Reader: Between the Blinds
Kristeva, Julia. Women’s time.
Lacan Jaques Ecrits
Lacan Jaques The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis
Levi-Strauss Claude The Raw and the Cooked
Moi, Toril 1986 The Kristeva Reader. Oxford, Blackwell.
Morris Pam (ed) The Bakhtin Reader: Selected Writings of Bakhtin, Medvedev, Voloshinov.
Rabinow Paul (ed) 1984 The Foucault Reader
Strathern Marilyn 1988 The Gender of the Gift.
Strathern, Marilyn 2004. Partial Connections.

Extra Ethnographic material – a few suggestions; search for or ask me for more if you don’t like these.

(Thinking with and/or about …..)

Hershman Paul 1974 Hair, Sex and Dirt. JRAI 9, 2.

Obeyesekere Gananath 1984 Medusa’s Hair.
Trawick, Margaret Notes on Love in a Tamil Family.

Wafer Jim.The Taste of Blood: Spirit Possession in Brazilian Candomble.

Boddy Janice Wombs and Alien Spirits

Taussig, Michael. 1993. Mimesis and Alterity: a Particular history of the Senses.

Ewing, Katherine Pratt Arguing Sainthood: Modernity, Psychoanalysis and Islam

Van der Port Mattijs Circling around the Really Real: Spirit Possession Ceremonies and the Search for Authenticity in Bahian Candomble ´ in EthosVol. 33, No. 2, pp. 149–179,

Wacquant Loïc 2004 Body & Soul: Notebooks of an Apprentice Boxer

Wacquant Loïc 2008 Urban Outcasts. Polity Press.

Osella F & C Osella 1999 From Transience to Immanence: Consumption, life-Cycle and social mobility in Kerala. Modern Asian Studies 33 : pp 989-1020


… Levi-Strauss

Fardon, Richard 1992 Between God, the Dead and the Wild: Chamba Interpretations of Ritual and Religion.

Douglas Mary Natural Symbols
Douglas Mary Purity and Danger

Intertextuality (Bakhtin, Kristeva, Derrida)
Boyarin Jonathan 2009. Voices around the Text: The Ethnography of Reading at Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem . Cultural |AnthropologyVolume 4, Issue 4, pages 399–421.
Gardner Sally. 2012: Dancing and Listening: Odissi across Cultures, Journal of Intercultural Studies, 33:4, 411-425

Sandell David 2009 Ritual, Stories, and the Poetics of a Journey home among Latino Catholics. Anthropology of Consciousness 20,1:53-80.



Clifford James 1988 The Predicament of Culture.

Ivy M 1995 Discourses of the Vanishing: Modernity, Phantasm, japan. Chicago.

Siegel , James T. 2001. Suharto, witches. Indonesia , Vol. 71, (Apr., 2001), pp. 27-78
… Foucault

Ong Aiwha 1987 Spirits of Resistance and Capitalist Discipline: Factory Women in Malaysia

Rofel, L. (1992), Rethinking Modernity: Space and Factory Discipline in China. Cultural Anthropology, 7: 93–114.

Scott James 1990 Domination and the Art of Resistance.


… Sensoria


Classen, Constance & Howes, David. 1996. The Essence of Aroma. American anthropologist. Volume 98. Issue 3. September 1996 (Pages 617 – 619)

Kidron Carol 2009 Toward an Ethnography of Silence. Current Anthropology 50,1: 5-27. See also supplements A B & C to this article if interested – available online via Wenner Grenn archives.

Stoller Paul 1997 Sensuous Scholarship Penn, Uni Penn Press.

Perez Elizabeth 2011 Cooking for the Gods: sensuous ethnography, sensory knowledge and the kitchen in Lumaci tradition. In Religion, 41,4: 665-683.

Turner Victor 1995 The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure

Taussig, Michael. 1993. Mimesis and Alterity: a Particular history of the Senses.


… History

Taussig, Michael. 1993. Mimesis and Alterity: a Particular history of the Senses.

Dirks Nicholas. 1992. Castes of Mind. Representations , No. 37, Special Issue: Imperial Fantasies and Postcolonial Histories (Winter, 1992), pp. 56-78. (See also book length same title).
Cohn Bernard 1990 An anthropologist among the historians. Chicago CUP.
Stoler Laura Ann 1997 On Political and Psychological Essentialisms. Ethos, volume 25. Issue 1. March 1997 (Pages 101 – 106)


… Strathern

Franklin Sarah. 2010. Postmodern Procreation. A cultural Account of Assisted Reproduction. Online at

Strathern, Marilyn 1988 The Gender of the Gift

Simpson, Bob 1999 The Kinship Consequences of
Posthumous Reproduction:Diane Blood v The Human
Fertilisation and EmbryologyAuthority. Online .PDF at via JSTOR.

Mosko, M. (2010), Partible penitents: dividual personhood and Christian practice in Melanesia and the West. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 16: 215–240.


These are not specifically necessarily ethnographies written under the spell of single specific theorists/ approaches; they are simply guaranteed to be useful for you in combo with the approach you want to explore. Of course, many of them pick up more than one of the texts we’ve explored. Hence the essay question on the limits of combinability. Back to week one – is the chicken tikka pizza (or the Foucauldian-Bourdieu-Derrida influenced ethnography) an obvious combinatorial move or an abomination (in Mary Douglas’ terms – Purity and Danger)?

I can give you more suggestions if you do not feel attracted to any of these ethnographies – mail me or pop in to office hours (preferably before week 11).


Readers/ Commentaries / Textbook-like texts and other useful Things

The Fontana Modern Masters Series –
Routledge Critical thinkers Series –

There are also (too) many others, like the Sage core cultural theorists series, and if any of these happen to come to hand (your mum’s bookshelf; a second hand bookshop, etc), you might want to flick through them, but **do not touch the ‘Beginners Books’ series** – they’re not helpful for your purposes. You need something that’s reliable and academically well-grounded.

Agger, Ben 1991 Critical Theory, Poststructuralism, postmodernism: thero sociological relevance. Annual Review of Sociology 17, 105-131.
Allen, Graham. Intertextuality (chaps 1 & 2). London routledge.
Atkinson, Paul Anthony, Sara Delamont, Amanda Jane Coffey and John Lofland. The SAGE Handbook of Ethnography
Benvenuto, Bice 1986 The Works of Jaques Lacan: an introduction. Londion, Free Press.
Bourdieu Pierre and Loïc WacquantAn Invitation to Reflexive Sociology
Boyne, Roy 1990. Foucault and Derrida: the other side of Reason. London, unwin Hyman.
Burridge, KOL |Claude Levi-Strauss: fieldwork, explanation and experience (to be read alongside L-S ‘the scope of anthropology’).
Butler, Andrew 2002 Postmodernism: a very short introduction. Oxford, OUP.
Campbell Jan 2000 Arguing with the phallus: feminist, queer and postcolonial theory. London, zed Books.
Calefato Patrizia 2008 On Myth and Fashion: Barthes and Cultural Studies. Sign systems Studies 36.1.
Carroll Michael. 1978. The Savage Bind: Levi Strauss Myth analysis and Anglophone Social Science. The Pacific sociological Review 21,4.
Cavallaro Dani 2003 French Feminist Theory: an introduction. London, continuum.
Classen Constance Worlds of Sense.
Clifford, James & George Marcus Writing Culture.
Codere, Helene. 1974. La Geste du chien d’Asdiwal – The Story of Mac (read with Asdiwal L-S article. It’s a parody). American AnthropologistVolume 76, Issue 1, pages 42–47, March 1974
Cohn Bernard An Anthropologist among the historians & other essays
Corin Ellen 2012. Commentary: Interdisciplinary Dialogue: A Site of Estrangement. Ethos, volume 40. Issue 1. March 2012 (Pages 104 – 112). (On Psych and anthro).
Counihan, Carol and Penny Van Esterik Food and culture: a Reader.
Csordas, T. J. (1990), Embodiment as a Paradigm for Anthropology. Ethos, 18: 5–47.
Deluz, Ariane and Suzette Heald Anthropology and Psychoanalysis: An Encounter Through Culture.
Douglas Mary Natural Symbols
Douglas Mary Purity and Danger
Dreyfus Hubert & Paul Rabinow 2002 Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and hermeneutics. London, Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Dufresne Todd. 2006. Killing Freud Twentieth-Century Culture And the Death of Psychoanalysis. Continuum
Foster, S. W. (1986), Reading Pierre Bourdieu. Cultural Anthropology, 1: 103–110.
Frank, Katherine. Agency. Anthropological Theory September 2006 vol. 6 no. 3 281-302
Fuss Diana J 1989 Essentially speaking – Luce Irigaray’s Language of Essence Hypatia, 3,3.
Gallop, Jane. 1985 Reading Lacan. Ithaca, Cornell Uni Press.
Gould, Nathan. 1978. The Structure of dialectical Reason: A comparative Study of Freud’s and Levi-Strauss’ Concepts of the Unconscious Mind. Ethos, 6,4.
Grosz, Elizabeth 1990 Jaques Lacan: a feminist introduction. London, Routledge.
Gutting Gary 2005. Foucault: a very short Introduciton. Oxford, OUP.
Hawkes, Terence (Terry) 1983 Structuralism & Semiotics London Routledge
Herzfeld, M 1997 Anthropology: a practice of Theory, International social sciences Journal 153.
Howes, David. 2004. Empire of the Senses: The Sensual Culture Reader
Howes, David. 2009. The Sixth Sense Reader. Oxford, Berg.
India, Jonathan Xavier Anthropologies of Modernity: Foucault, Governmentality, and Life Politics.
Iversen, Margaret 2007. Beyond Pleasure: Freud, Lacan, Barthes. Uni Park Penn State Uni Press.
Kronenfeld David & Henry Decker 1979 Structuralism. Annual Review of Anthropology 8.
Lavers, Annette 1982 Roland Barthes: Structuralism and After. Cambridge, Mass, Harvard Uni Press.
Lindholm, Charles. Culture and Identity: The History, Theory, and Practice of Psychological Anthropology.
Lock, Margaret 1993 Cultivating the body: Anthropology and epistemologies of Bodily knowledge and Practice. Annual review Anthro 22.
Lofgren, Orvar and Richard Wilk. Off the Edge: Experiments in Cultural Analysis
McNay, Lois 1994 Foucault: a critical Introduction. Cambridge, Polity Press.
Mandelbaum David 1987. Myths and Myth-Maker: some anthropological appraisals of the mythological Studies of Levi Strauss. Ethnology 26,1.
Maranda Pierre 1972. Structuralism in cultural anthropology.
Mathur Saloni. 2000. History and Anthropology in South Asia: Rethinking the Archive Annual Review of Anthropology , Vol. 29, pp. 89-106
Mintz Sidney & Christine Du Bois 2002 The Anthropology of Food and Eating. Annual review of Anthropology.
Mitchell, Juliet & Jacqueline Rose. 1982. Feminine Sexuality: Jaques Lacan and the Ecole Freudienne.
MooreHenrietta 2007The Subject of Anthropology: Gender, Symbolism and Psychoanalysis
Morris, Rosalind. 2007. Legacies of Derrida: Anthropology. Annual review of Anthropology 36.
Niall Lucy 2004 A Derrida Dictionary Oxford, Blackwell.
Oliver, Kelly 2000 French Feminism Reader. Lanham, Rowman 7 Littlefield.
Rabate Jean-Michel 2003. The Cambridge Companion ot Lacan. Cambridge, CUP.
Robey, David. 1973 Structuralism: an introduction. Oxford, Clarendon.
Sahlins, Marshall. 1993. Goodbye to Triste Tropes: Ethnography in the Context of Modern World History. The Journal of Modern History , Vol. 65, No. 1 (Mar., 1993), pp. 1-25
Sarap, Madan 1993 An Introductory Guide to Post-structuralism and postmodernism. London, Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Sarup, Madan, 1992. Lacan. London, Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. 2003. Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading (chap 4 of her ‘Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity’. London, Duke.
Steinmetz George 2006 Bourdieu’s Disavowal of Lacan: psychoanalytic Theory and the concepts of Habitus and Capital. Constellations 14,4:445-464.
Steven Van Wolputte 2004. Hang on to Your Self: Of Bodies, Embodiment, and Selves Annual Review of Anthropology , Vol. 33, pp. 251-269
Stoller Paul The Taste of Ethnographic Things: The Senses in Anthropology
Sturrock John Structuralism
Sturrock John Structuralism and Since
Thwaites Tony. Reading Freud: Psychoanalysis as Cultural Theory
Turner Victor & Richard Schechner. Between Theatre and Anthropology.
Winnubst Shannon 1999 Exceeding Hegel and Lacan: Different fields of Pleasure with Foucault and Irigaray, Hypatia 14,1.
Zone Reader: Fragments for a history of the Human body. Five volumes – mega resource of history and ethnography. Browse and pick out any chapters you like to think with / around.





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