University Forum Lecture: Kim Foster
November 16 7:30 pm
Beverly Rogers Literature and Law Building (RLL), Room 101
4505 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89154
About the Event
The Dysfunction of Food: On Food That Isn’t Beautiful or Comforting or Delicious
Kim Foster, James Beard Award-winning Author of the forthcoming The Meth Lunches: The Care and Feeding of a Drug Addict, St. Martin’s Press.
In this lecture, Kim Foster will examine the ways food can signify and complicate dysfunction in Las Vegas, for both individuals and communities – those with empty tables, and those with full plates.
What does food mean to people in addiction? Or psychosis? Or in jail? Or for people who don’t have kitchens? What should it mean to the rest of us?
Most of us think about food as a conduit for connection it’s a cliché now: “Food brings us together” and “Food connects us.” The messages are everywhere. A sea of perfectly constructed social media food images floods our feeds daily. It’s all beautiful, heavily curated, intentional, and privileged. The people eating are happy, smiling, and having a ball. It’s a monoculture of food happiness. Foster is a contributor to this culture as a food writer.
But food is also a conduit for disconnection, stress, family trauma, and workplace abuse. In families, the table, the eating together, the passing of plates may hold discomfort, anxiety, and anger. It brings up things that can, in other environments, be let go. For others, the table holds scarcity, an annihilating reminder of their poverty. Others still have food on their table, but no one sitting next to them to share it.
Food can be a way to control. And punish. And abuse. And a means to force people to conform. And, there is having no food at all.
Food is often a litmus test. What we are eating and how we are eating tells us something integral about how we are doing, and what our lives are like.
Co-sponsored by the Black Mountain Institute.