English 210 - Spring, 2019

Readings in English & American Literature

Class Information

Instructor: Roy, Parama
CRN: 92117
Time: R 3:10-6:00
Location: 120 Voorhies
Focus: Interdiscipline


    ENL 210: Taste Acts

    Jacques Derrida’s questions about responsible ingestion in “Eating Well” help us to re-imagine the mouth in place of the face as the locus of an ethical encounter with the other, and to think of eating as the act through which we consume and are consumed in turn. Keeping Derrida’s provocation in mind, this course will examine the cultural poetics and politics of a variety of texts–theoretical, fictional, autobiographical, historical, anthropological, ecological, and popular cultural–on cooking, foraging, eating, abstention, starvation, alimentary longing, and disgust. Our consideration of dietary logics and of the alimentary habitus will be routed through the following foci: the regulatory regimes of consumption, taste, and enjoyment; permitted and prohibited foods; vampirism and cannibalism; sacrifice, utopian or ascetic eating, and the civilising of the palate; hospitality and commensality; food boycotts, bread riots, and hunger strikes; imperial tastes and industrial foods; gluttony, anorexia, bulimia, and addiction; and the political economies of hunger, famine, and luxury.


    Response to weekly readings, to be posted to an online discussion forum (20%); facilitation of class discussion (10%); 6-10 page abstract of research paper (20%); 15-page seminar paper (50%).


    Robinson Crusoe, ed. Michael Shinagel (2nd edition), Daniel Defoe
    The Confessions of an English Opium Eater, Thomas de Quincey
    Meatless Days, Sara Suleri
    The Lives of Animals, J.M. Coetzee
    The Book of Salt, Monique Truong
    Racial Indigestion, Kyla Wazana Tompkins