Racial Indigestion.
New York University Press 2012

Racial Indigestion won the 2013 Lora Romero Award for best first book in American Studies awarded by the American Studies Association and the 2013 award for best book in Food Studies awarded by the Association for the Study of Food and Society.

In 1900, the Thomas Edison Company produced a film called “The Gator and the Pickaninny.” This silent gag film depicts a small black child fishing on a tropical shore. An alligator crawls up behind him and eats him up; soon after, the child’s father runs up, cuts open the alligator and pulls the child out whole and happy. How does a film of a black child being eaten become legible to audiences in the early twentieth century? As my research shows, this troubling image emerges from a Southern folk story that alligators prefer to eat black children rather than white children, ostensibly because their flesh is sweeter. More than an insight into the racial politics of film in the period, this idea of edible blackness reveals something about consumption and white identity. Indeed, as I demonstrate, this image appears consistently in U.S. popular culture, finding its first expression in the antebellum novel and continuing in the material culture of the early to mid-twentieth century.

Through readings of material culture, novels, cookbooks and visual culture, my book project, Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in the Nineteenth Century examines how food culture – its social practice and cultural representations - informs the production of racial difference and other forms of political inequality. However this is not entirely a project about food. Rather, my book aims to contribute to the growing field of food studies by examining eating; I seek to understand the ways that eating produces political subjects by naturalizing the social and biological discourses that create bodies. In four separate case studies, I examine images of mouths and bodies, of eaters and the eaten, to produce a story about racial formation in the nineteenth century that reveals the intimate workings of the body politic.

Download the Introduction and the Table of Contents.

Reviewed Here:

American Quarterly, GLQ: Gay and Lesbian Quarterly; Journal of American Studies; The Black Scholar; legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers; TDR: The Drama Review; WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly; The Journal of American Culture; Children’s Literature Association Quarterly; Food and Foodways; Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture; American Literature; Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies; Radical Teacher; Food, Culture and SocietyCanadian Review of American Studies; American Literary HistoryEarly American Literature; others.

 

 

Articles
& Essays:

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2018

“You Make Me Feel Right Quare”: Promiscuous Reading, Minoritarian Critique, and White Sovereign Entrepreneurial Terror. 

Social Text 1 December 2017; 35 (4): 53–86.

2017

 

"Crude Matter, Queer Form"

ASAP/Journal, Volume 2, Number 2, May 2017, pp. 264-268

 

"A Response to Chad Shomura and Michelle N. Huang" in "Forum: Emergent Critical Analytics for Alternative Humanities.”

Forum: Emergent Critical Analytics for Alternative Humanities. Lateral 6.1 (2017).

 

2016

We Aren’t Here to Learn What We Already Know.

Avidly: A Los Angeles Review of Books Channel.

“Some Thoughts on the Limits and Promise
of The New Materialisms” in “Forum: Emergent
Critical Analytics for Alternative Humanities.”

Lateral: Journal of the Cultural Studies Association. Spring 2016.


Cambridge Companion to Gay
and Lesbian American Literature

2015  

Queer of Color Critique.”

Cambridge Companion to Gay and Lesbian American Literature.
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Introduction” in “On The Visceral.”

GLQ: Gay and Lesbian Quarterly 21:1.

Interview with David Findlay” in “On The Visceral.”

GLQ: Gay and Lesbian Quarterly 21:1.

“Hearty and Happy and with a Lively, Yeasty Soul”:
Feeling Right in Louisa May Alcott’s The Candy Country
.

Women and Performance, January 2015.


GLQ: Gay & Lesbian Quarterly 20:4

2014

Introduction” in “On The Visceral.”

GLQ: Gay and Lesbian Quarterly 20:4.

“Eat, Sex, Race.”

Unsettled States: Nineteenth-Century Literary Studies, Dana Luciano and Ivy Wilson, eds. New York: New York University Press, 2014.


 

2013

A Forum on Form: Consider the Recipe.

J19: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century Literature. Fall 2013. 1.2, 439-445.

How Does It Feel.

Periscope: The Social Text Blog. A Forum on Lauren Berlant’s Cruel Optimism.


 

2011

“History’s Traces: Personal Narrative,
Diaspora, and the Arab-Jew.”

Gender, Nation, Belonging: Arab/Arab-American Feminist Perspectives. Evelyn Azeeza Alsultany, Rabab Abdulhadi, Nadine Naber, Editors. Syracuse University Press.


 

2009                    

“‘She Made the Table A Snare To Them’: Domesticity, Diet
and Postcoloniality in the Writings of Sylvester Graham
.”

Gastronomica. Winter 2009. 9. 1, 50–60.

 

2007           

“‘Everything ‘Cept Eat Us’: The Black Body as
Edible Object in Antebellum U.S. Literature
.”

Callaloo. Special Issue: Reading Callaloo, Eating Callaloo. 30.1, 201-224.


 

2005           

Approaches to Teaching Literary Food Studies.”

Journal of Food, Culture, and Society. Fall 2005. 8. 2, 243-258.

 

 

Journals:

GLQ: Gay & Lesbian Quarterly 21:1

2014/2015

 

21:1 GLQ: Gay and Lesbian Quarterly

 

.

Duke University Press. Double Issue. Durham, North Carolina. Co-editors: Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Sharon Holland and Marcia Ochoa. Bocados Contributors: dirtysurface; Juana Maria Rodriguez; Erin Gray; Donna Haraway; Lauren Berlant and Jordan Alexander Stein; Mel Chen. Contributors: Sianne Ngai; Bethany Schneider; Ewa Macura-Nnamdi; Ramzi Fawaz.

Special Tumblr for the Bocados

On The Visceral Tumblr

20:4 GLQ: Gay and Lesbian Quarterly.

Duke University Press. Double Issue. Durham, North Carolina. Co-editors: Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Sharon Holland and Marcia Ochoa. Article Contributors: Zeb Tortorici; Jennifer C Nash; Leah DeVun; Rachel Lee.

 

 

Public Writing
& Journalism:

Broad City in Brown Broads,
White TV, with Rebecca Wanzo
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Against Gluttony

We Aren’t Here to Learn What We Already Know.

Avidly: A Los Angeles Review of Books Channel.

Ball Busters and the Recurring Trauma
of Intergenerational Queer/Feminist Life
.

Bully Bloggers. February 20, 2016.

Shortlist: Five Nineteenth-Century Books.

New York Times Book Review.

Brown Broads, White TV, with Rebecca Wanzo.

Los Angeles Review of Books.

Capitalism Eats Itself Alive.

From The Square. New York University Press blog.

Against Gluttony.

From The Square, New York University Press blog

Eating Laid Bare.

From The Square, New York University Press blog.