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Food and Performance

Module Code: TH327
Module Name: Food and Performance
Module Credits: 30

From necessity to pleasure, from subsistence to security, food is a constant in our lives, commandeering significant portions of our waking lives – gathering, preparing, ingesting, digesting, excreting - and annexing one-third of the planet’s land not covered in ice. We define ourselves by the food we eat, both physically (as Morgan Spurlock, Eleanor Antin and others attest) and culturally.

Commensality – the fellowship of the table – shares with performance the coming together of individuals to form a temporary group that consume and then depart. The negotiated status of performer and audience finds resonance with that between hosts and guests and an opportunity to reaffirm or challenge the rituals and etiquette by which they operate.

The tensions between creativity and domesticity, between adulation and exploitation are explored in relation to performances that acknowledge the breadth of circumstances in which we engage with food, culminating in an extended consideration of the theatricality of dining. Alongside reflection on the social and aesthetic aspects of food, the ethical and ecological cost of feeding and feasting is explored.

Class Location and Time (Terms 1 & 2)

MONDAY 1030-1230 G55

Department Timetables


30% - Portfolio (4 x 750 words) [LINK FOR ESUBMISSION]
35% - Assessed Seminar Presentation
35% - Practical Examination

Full Assessment Criteria
Departmental Assessment Deadlines