Intellectualisation of Australian Food Writers

The Research School of Humanities presents,


1- 2.30 pm, Tuesday 5 August 2008, Theatrette, Old Canberra House.

Enabling new ways of thinking about the world?: The Australian food writer as activist

Associate Professor Donna Lee Brien Associate Professor of Creative Industries, and Head, School of Arts and Creative Enterprise, Central Queensland University.


Food writing makes up a significant proportion of the books, articles, weblogs and other texts written, published, sold and read each year in Australia. While the food writing in cookbooks, magazines and other publications is often thought of as providing useful, but banal, practical skill-based information, recent scholarship has begun to suggest that food writing is a more creative, and interesting, form of cultural production. As part of a biographically-based study of Australian food writers, this work-in-progress seminar focuses on the roles the contemporary food writer plays in an environment where food is the subject of considerable scholarly, policy and personal interest and anxiety. In such a context, a number of contemporary food writers engage with issues around food production and consumption. These issues include sustainable and ethical agriculture, biodiversity and genetic modification, food miles and fair trade, food safety and security, and obesity, diabetes and other health issues. In this activity, the Australian food writer is, moreover, not only a media commentator on these important contemporary concerns, but is, at times, a forward-thinking activist, advocating and campaigning for change.


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