Women cooking art: Hospitality and contemporary art practices

Meneses Romero, Mariana. 2017. Women cooking art: Hospitality and contemporary art practices. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis examines the notion of hospitality in light of contemporary food-based artistic practices created from 2000 to 2015 by female artists Sonja Alhauser, Mary Ellen Carroll, Leah Gauthier, Ana Prvacki, Alicia Rfos, Jennifer Rubel I, Miriam Si mun, and Anna Dumitriu, and the experimental food artists Sam Bompas and Harry Parr. The aim is to make sense of how food practices, art, and feminism intersect, especially in light of the gendered history of the food system, including cooking, when opened onto a philosophically developed notion of hospitality.

I explore the intricacies of hosting the "other", considering the multiple levels in which the relationship between the host and the guest develops. Hospitality is examined as a continuous cycle of relationships where dynamics and discourses of power and of generosity are constantly rehearsed. I focus on four main stages within the food system: 1) the gathering of edibles; 2) the cooking process; 3) the moment when food is shared and ingested with others; and 4) the digestive process.

Throughout this thesis, I consider hospitality as an open structure that sheds light on the understanding of the encounters between human and non-human species-including animal, vegetable, and microbial-in the food chain. My analysis is situated within contemporary debates of gender studies, cultural studies, food studies, and philosophy of hospitality, in particular, Jacques Derrida's ethics of the other, and the imperative that "one must eat well". Eating is discussed as the literal and metaphorical assimilation and incorporation of the other, and incorporates feminist theoretical engagements which highlight Western thought as being structured by a series of gendered dichotomies, including those of nature-culture, male-female, mind-body, object-subject. I argue that the philosophical notion of hospitality and feminist theory enable a critical approach to the food system as a continual ethical imperative for and to the other.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Additional Information:

Redacted thesis


Hospitality, Food, Art, Gender, Feminism, Ethics, Derrida

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


5 May 2017

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

06 Jul 2017 11:04

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 11:50



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