The Naked Brunch:
Food, Consumption & Culture

“Eating is a mundane activity, sometimes pleasurable, sometimes routine. But how often do we think about what we eat as a social phenomenon rather than an exercise in personal taste? This course will be a six week long naked lunch, a collection of ‘frozen moments’ when we’ll stop chewing and attempt see exactly how ‘what is on the end of our forks’ got to be there. It’ll investigate issues surrounding the pursuit of ethical food consumption; why some eating practices are privileged and some are pathologised; who gets to eat what; the lifestyling of food; and the role of cooking and eating in popular culture. There’ll be breastmilk and Masterchefs and cooking shows and fat and locavores and vegans and meat.”

When: Thursdays 30th August – 4th October 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
Venue: The Alderman (upstairs), 134 Lygon St East Brunswick
Co-ordinator: Helen Addison-Smith (Melbourne Uni)

week 1

30th of August 2012

Pleased to meat you: On being and eating meat
Helen Addison-Smith (Melbourne Uni)
Meat is a potent cultural symbol, its significance deeply embedded in our imaginings of masculinity and human evolution. But what of the suffering of the animals who become the meat? And what does it mean if we remember that humans too are animals and so, potentially and inevitably, meat?

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week 2

6th of September 2012

Breastmilk: A meal, a medicine and much more
Jane Kemelfield (Australian Breastfeeding Association)
Breast milk is the original, organic baby-food. It’s perfect for infants and it’s free. In contrast, formula is expensive and places infants’ health at risk. The World Health Organisation recommends breast milk as the only source of nutrition that babies need for the first 6 months of life. So why do 85% of Australian parents give their babies formula in the first 6 months?

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week 3

13th of September 2012

Making MasterChef political
Luke Van Ryn (Melbourne Uni)
Field notes from a journey behind the apron and into media production networks, debates and practices.

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week 4

20th of September 2012

A revolution in an eggcup? Celebrity chefs, ethical consumption and lifestyle politics
Tania Lewis (RMIT)
Celebrity chefs have become the somewhat unlikely cultural icons of our time. In this talk I discuss the impact that figures like Jamie Oliver have had on the way we think about cooking, eating and sourcing our food, focusing in particular on the way he has used his branded identity to promote healthy and ethical forms of consumption.

week 5

27th of September 2012

Fat bodies politic
Jackie Wykes (Melbourne Uni)
We often assume there is a simple connection between food, (over)consumption and fat, but this overlooks the ways in which food and eating, body shape and size, and even the experience of ‘health’ are deeply enmeshed with class, race, and cultural practices.

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week 6

4th of October 2012

The vegan and the locavore
(Anikee Mallis (Radical Grocery Store) Patrick Jones (poet, Daylesford UWS)
Harm, food and sentience: is there really such thing as a vegan?

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