Dr. David Sutton returns to AOTS, this time to talk about his long career’s work on the anthropology of food. Dr. Sutton explores the politics of food and commensality, or eating together, on the Greek island of Kalymnos at a time when international debt has increased outside pressures on Greece to transform their economics and culture to better suit neoliberal capitalism. For folks in Kalymnos, food and cooking are ways to connect the present to the past, whether it’s through telling stories of food eaten 40 years ago, eating foods today to evoke memories, or cooking using specific techniques and tool choices that emphasize cultural and kinship connections.
As people eat together, Dr. Sutton explains, there is an intimacy and materiality to food that correlates to social relations, the senses, and the political. Food becomes a metaphor for criticizing some of the more abstract elements of neoliberalism, such as the conscious use of food in discourse that opposes concreteness and intimacy of eating with abstract coldness of money and rational economics.
*NEW* Transcript available below!