Gastro-Nostalgia and Ethnic Food

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University of Toronto St. George
Diaspora and Transnational Studies
Kevin Lewis O' Neill

DTS200 Lecture #5 February 5 , 2013 Essay topic sentence to send to the TA should be something like this: I am researching X to understand Y in order to understand Z pages 6-10 Send this email the sooner the better but it must be before the end of February Gastro-Nostalgia and Ethnic Food - Food as nostalgia is important for diasporas o Eating or making of food o The detail account of how things are bought and made o Food preparation is a trigger for nostalgia - Failure of adaptation - Affective displacement - How the memories of the homeland are circulated through genealogical accountings o Genealogy is a family tree but; o Genealogical accounting: is the ways in which the stories about how we got here are shaped and told  The how we got here stories represent modes of transportation  Modes of how we got here  These stories have to do with technological arrivals  Process of transportation o Ex: ships, trains...  Genealogy is different from a genealogical account o How we got here stories change over time  Now are no longer about the technology of travel but how about getting your papers.  This circulates in many diasporic communities  “VISA stories” o This is also part of the technology of travel, not to do with how they go there, but to get credit in order to travel. - These stories circulate in diasporic communities to give the Diaspora community authenticity. o Represents how they had to sweat to gain citizenship compared to those who didn’t. o Genealogical accounting is a form of binding the community  So you circulate your stories because you want to say that you have shared experience of displacement and assertion  These stories provide communal binding - The stories o These accounts are told to members of the community. o The genealogical accounting are told and repeated to people for whom it doesn’t mean anything  Therefore what these stories suggest is what is the status of your genealogical accounting for the shaping of ethical understanding outside ones community.  Ex: the story of the 11 year old American boy Elliot - Food in literature o Jhumpa Lahiri’s Story “Mrs Sen’s” from Interpreter of Maladies  Mrs Sen and her husband, a mathematician assistant professor at a college live in Boston  She has agreed to look after 11 year old Elliot, who comes to stay with Mrs Sen every day after school to wait for his mother...  GET SLIDE o The point is : The way food performs in the Diaspora as a bearer of nostalgia for the homeland and also as a means of binding the community not just by the food - Ethnic Food Shopping o If you don’t grow it you buy it o The politics and poetics of ethnic food stores  Performs amazing functions within the diasporic community  Ex: from the reading -India shopping and the negotiations of nostalgia  Will have food but bolliwood titles, a newspapers o Ethnic foods, goods and their supply chains o The economy and politics of package foods o The ethnic food shop as a reservoir of recipes, stories from the homeland and about local knowledge o Gossip and organizational story telling  This is where you go to TD bank and to understand the ethos of the bank is by what you hear about the stories of who is within the organization  These are a way of producing a map, a moral map, of different forms of agents of who is doing what, where and why  These maps translate into who you can trust o Ex: everyone knows the person who can’t keep secrets  And the ethnic food stores are heavily incorporated with these organizational story telling o Ex: the newspaper headlines in an Indian ethnic food store o The ethnic food stores and the policing of family values/gender roles  Ex: women are expected to still manage the domestic sphere in the diasporic community, but it is not unusual for both parents to be working in especially in the middle class  Rethinking of the family structure than back what it is like back home o Ethnic food stores and cosmopolitanism o Therefore the ethnic food store is not just about where you buy food but the hub of organizational storing telling about the community and homeland o Most stories have nothing to do with the food o Often ethnic food stores are dispensers of recipes  Monica article tells us: women in the second generation diasporic who want to cook ethnic food. o Ethnic food store workers can tell you where to get jobs, where to buy what food at the best deal, where to buy a home... o Some may argue that the ethnic food store provides a bigger functions than the church for the diasporic community  The root of information you can get from the ethnic food store is more than what you can get from the church because the ethnic food satisfies your need for nostalgia which the church cannot - Diaspora and the changes in family structu
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