AustLit logo
y separately published work icon Coolabah periodical issue   peer reviewed assertion
Alternative title: Food for Afterthought
Issue Details: First known date: 2011... no. 5 2011 of Coolabah est. 2007 Coolabah
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'As the guest editor of the present issue of Coolabah (No. 5, 2011), entitled Food for Afterthought, I have had the honour and pleasure of dealing with a series of challenging essays derived from the congress Food for Thought, held from 1st to 5th February 2010 at the University of Barcelona. This event was organised by the Australian Studies Centre of the University of Barcelona, Spain, together with the Centre for Peace and Social Justice of the University of Southern Cross, Lismore, Australia, directed by Dr Susan Ballyn and Dr Baden Offord respectively. Their commitment and work front and backstage both in Barcelona as well as in Australia are responsible for the range and depth of this international conference. Indeed, Food for Thought forms part of a cycle of congresses on Australian Studies that started out commuting between Australia and Spain, but since 2008 have had Barcelona as their one and only venue, without losing their original international and interdisciplinary appeal and objective.' (Editorial introduction)


  • Contents indexed selectively.


* Contents derived from the 2011 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Eating One’s Way Through History : Food and Politics in Manuka Wijesinghe’s Monsoons and Potholes, Isabel Alonso-Breto , single work criticism
'This paper consists of an analysis of Monsoons and Potholes (2006), the first novel by Sri Lankan playwright Manuka Wijesinghe. Attention is paid to the ways in which the text articulates relations between personal stories, food, history and politics. Food plays a central role in some novels published in the last years by Sri Lankan authors, as is the case, for instance, with Yasmine Gooneratne's A Change of Skies (1984) and Mary Ann Mohanraj's Bodies in Motion (2005). Both these works elaborate metaphors of identity through the dominant trope of food-encompassing cooking and the rituals of consumption. In Monsoons and Potholes, food accompanies and illustrates the autobiographical account of a Sri Lankan youngster born in the early 1960s, and revisits the first twenty years in her life together with the socio-political up and downs in her country. While it is a novel which to a great extent draws on metaphors of myth and history, scenes of food and eating appear consistently throughout the narration, which contribute in providing a down-to-earth (and highly satirical) version of the life of the Sinhala upper-middle classes during the period. These images of food (and the sets of rituals, beliefs and constrictions around it) are exploited by the author with the aim to explore, understand and denounce the historical process which precipitated Sri Lanka, at the beginning of the 1980s, "on the road to nowhere".' (Author's abstract)
Margaret Fulton : A Study of a 1960s Australian Food Writer as an Activist, Donna Lee Brien , single work biography
'Today, food writing makes up a significant proportion of the texts written, published, sold and read each year in Australia. While the food writing published in magazines and cookbooks has often been thought of as providing useful, but relatively banal, practical skills-based information to its readers, relatively recent reassessments suggest that food writing is much more interesting and important than this. In the contemporary context, when the mere mention of food engenders considerable anxiety, food writers play a number of roles beyond providing information on how to buy, store, prepare and serve various provisions. Instead, contemporary food writers engage with a range of important issues around food production and consumption including sustainable and ethical agriculture, biodiversity and genetic modification, food miles and fair trade, food safety and security, and obesity, diabetes and other health issues. In this, Australian food writers not only provide comment on any important issues in progress, they are also, I suggest, forward-thinking activists, advocating and campaigning for change. This paper focuses on prominent Australian food writer Margaret Fulton's career in the 1960s to begin to investigate her work as an activist: that is, one who advocates and campaigns to bring about change.' (Author's abstract)
Halligan’s Love Affair with Food, Anne Holden Rønning , single work criticism
'Marion Halligan's non-fiction Eat My Words, (1990), Cockles of the Heart (1996) and The Taste of Memory (2004) all have food as their main topic. Travelling round Europe on culinary journeys and staying in hotels and flats she provides us, as readers, with a wealth of recipes and reflections on the role food plays in people's lives, socially and culturally. This article will discuss some few of the points Halligan raises as she comments on the pleasure of food; on bricolage, both in the finished product and in cookery books; and the language we use to describe food and its processes. Adopting a bicultural approach Halligan compares Australian foods of today with those of her childhood, thus turning these food books into a kind of autobiography.' (Publisher's abstract)
Mythologizing Food : Marion Halligan’s Non-Fiction, Ulla Rahbek , single work criticism
This paper discusses Marion Halligan's non-fiction, particularly her writing on food: Those Women who go to Hotels, Eat my Words, Cockles of the Heart, Out of the Picture, and The Taste of Memory. The focus is on how Halligan deconstructs and reconstruct a mythology of food, in a Barthesian sense, revealing the contradictions at the heart of food mythology. The texts lay bare Halligan's own personal and at times idiosyncratic mythology of food, where food is much more that just that. Venturing into areas of autobiography, memory, travel, place and gardens, this paper discusses how Halligan's mythologizing of food doubles up, especially in her most recent food writing, as a rethinking and celebration of suburbia, which is figured as a site where nature and culture meet, and where paradise can be regained.
Sea-change or Atrophy? The Australian Convict Inheritance, Cynthia Van Den Driesen , single work criticism
This paper is an offshoot of a larger project which explored the possibility for the erstwhile settler-colonizer undergoing the sea-change into settler-indigene emergent through a study of selected novels of Patrick White. It became apparent to me that the convict figure, who played an ancillary role in these works, could lay claim to the status of white indigene well ahead of the main protagonist. Robert Hughes (in The Fatal Shore) discredits the idea of any bonding between the convict and the Aborigine but acknowledges examples of "white blackfellas"—white men who had successfully been adopted into Aboriginal societies. Martin Tucker's nineteenth century work, Ralph Rashleigh, offers surprising testimony of a creative work which bears this out in a context where Australian literature generally reflected the national amnesia with regard to the Aborigine and barely accorded them human status. Grenville's The Secret River (2005), based broadly on the history of her own ancestor, appears to support Hughes' original contention but is also replete with ambivalences that work against a simple resolution. This paper will explore some of the ambivalences, the 'food for thought' on aspects of the Australian experience highlighted by these literary texts, and glances briefly also at variations on the theme in Carey's Jack Maggs and the The True Story of the Kelly Gang. (Author's abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 2 Mar 2017 12:03:33
Common subjects:
    Powered by Trove