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At the Table of the Other: Eating and Ethics in Early Modern England
November 16, 2009 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
David B. Goldstein
Solmsen Fellow (2009-2010)
English, York University
This paper explores the meanings and functions of food in early modern English culture, arguing that for the Renaissance writer, the rhetoric of eating functions preeminently as a language of ethics that links or collapses the treatment of the food on one’s plate with that of other human beings. While the project focuses on early modern literature, it raises questions that are relevant across the humanities: Where do our bodies meet the world? Why are eating, speaking, and reading so intertwined? When and how do we move from eating the other to being obliged to the other? Why speak of an ethics of eating?
David B. Goldstein, Solmsen Fellow at the IRH, is Assistant Professor of English at York University in Toronto. His teaching and research interests include early modern English literature, book history and theory, food studies, and contemporary poetry. He has scholarly articles published or forthcoming on Shakespeare, Levinas, Robert Duncan, and Martha Stewart, while his food journalism has appeared in Saveur, The New York Sun, Time Out New York, and other publications.