Coming home to eat: Re-imagining place in the age of global climate change

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this essay, I set Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life into a context that includes Gary Paul Nabhan's Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods; Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals; and Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation. By focusing on local foods, each of these authors raise complex questions for environmental writers and critics including the following: Must environmental writers, critics, or activists, find a local place to which they are willing to commit? Is it even possible in the modern world to live out your life in one place, or have a commitment to one place? Do traditional definitions of "sense of place" continue to be meaningful in the global age? Should environmental writing and criticism reflect, focus or redirect the proliferation of ecodiscourses away from place as it is traditio nally understood, and towards an awareness of global ecological developments such as climate change? Building on the work of ecocritics Lawrence Buell and Ursula Heise and anthropologist Arun Appadurai, I analyze how Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, with its foc us on Kingsolver's small farm in Virginia, advances the spirited recent discussions surrounding place studies and literary concepts of "sense of place." I explore how Kingsolver's latest book is providing approaches to food production, energy conservation, and climate change that both build upon the best characteristics of conventional eco-localist nonfiction while reimagining the meaning of "sense of place" in the context of globalizing processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-26
Number of pages24
JournalTamkang Review
Volume39
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009

Keywords

  • Bioregionalism
  • Climate change
  • Ecocriticism
  • Food justice
  • Globalization
  • Localism
  • Sense of place

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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