Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Women and the Politics of Food

Janet A. Flammang.

The women's movement in the United States is at a historical juncture where it is rethinking women's relationship to food. Most of the civilizing aspects of food have been women's responsibility: meal preparation, community foods, table conversations, habits of generosity, and the like. This paper sheds light on the political nature of these relationships as the invisible foundations of civil society and democracy. There have been significant social costs resulting from fast food and convenience foods, grazing and snacking instead of sitting down for leisurely meals, watching television during mealtimes instead of conversing, viewing food as fuel rather than sustenance, discarding family recipes and foodways, and denying that eating is related to larger ecological issues. It is now everyone's --men's, women's and children's--responsibility to see connections between food and civility and act accordingly in daily foodwork. And a shorter workweek is needed to make time for meals and conversation.


Janet A. Flammang  (United States)
Department of Political Science
Santa Clara University

Professor of Political Science, former Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California.

  • Women and politics
  • Food studies
  • Civil society
  • Democratic theory

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)