Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Group of A&M-Kingsville Faculty Present at Conference that Looks at the Role of Food in the Arts

KINGSVILLE - February 19, 2008

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4143

Language and literature faculty from Texas A&M University-Kingsville will be presenting at a unique conference happening Feb. 21-23 that discusses the role food has played in the arts throughout history.

The conference is the 5th Interdisciplinary Conference on Food Representation in Literature, Film and the Other Arts, taking place at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The goal of the conference is to examine, celebrate and enjoy the variety of ways in which food has been represented in literature and the other arts throughout time and throughout the planet.

A&M-Kingsville faculty will join other faculty from a wide range of American and international universities, including the University of Virginia, Cairo University, New York University and Texas Tech University among many others.

Six A&M-Kingsville faculty members will be presenting at the conference. Four of them will make up the panel, “Edible Semiotics: Food as a Social Symbolic Act.” According to panel organizer Dr. Roberto Vela Córdova, assistant professor of Spanish, the panel will point out how food has been used to narrate and mediate historical conflicts. Examples of the group will include the use of food in Caribbean literature to describe the repression of its peoples, and how modern film director Pedro Almodóvar has used food to convey power and politics.

Panel members include Vela; Dr. Pamela Wright, English lecturer; Dr. David Sabrio, professor of English; and Marco Íñiguez Alba, Spanish lecturer.

In addition to the panel group, Dr. Michelle R. Johnson Vela, associate professor of Spanish, will speak on the topic, “Food as Cultural Signifier in the Literature and Music of U.S. Latinos.” Dr. Rebecca A. Brown, assistant professor of English at the System Center-San Antonio, will speak on, “‘The Camembert is Wonderful’: On Disruptive Dining in Taylor’s ‘Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont.’”

Vela Córdova feels this is an important conference for Texas A&M-Kingsville faculty beyond the exchange of ideas that will take place. “For A&M-Kingsville, and for any university, it is always important to embrace the opportunity to collaborate with other faculty members.

“The opportunity to collaborate across disciplines is one of the most important aspects small campuses have to offer, and achieving that discussion around a topic such as food, one that can be pleasurable as well as painful, it is a great place to embrace that collaboration.”

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