Jennifer Cognard-Black Food, Feminisms, Rhetorics

“This provocative volume of essays poses significant questions about the gendered history of cooking; about representations of food across time, cultures, and genres; and about the intimate link between eating and embodiment.”

-- Dr. Jane Greer, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at UMKC

Food, Feminisms, Rhetorics

Jennifer Cognard-Black’s latest essay, “The Embodied Rhetoric of Recipes,” appears in the new anthology Food, Feminisms, Rhetorics, out this year with Southern Illinois University Press. The collection begins with analyses of the historical, cultural, and political implications of cookbooks and recipes; moves on to explore definitions of feminist food writing; and ends with a focus on bodies and cultures. 

Inspired by the need for interpretations and critiques of the varied messages surrounding what and how we eat, Food, Feminisms, Rhetorics includes eighteen essays that demonstrate the importance of food and food-related practices as sites of scholarly study, particularly from feminist rhetorical perspectives.

Contributors analyze messages about food and bodies--from what a person watches and reads to where that person shops--taken from sources both mundane and literary, personal and cultural.  The genres, objects, and practices that these contributors study are varied--from cookbooks to genre fiction, from blogs to food systems, from product packaging to paintings--but the overall message is the same:  food and its associated practices are worthy of serious scholarly attention.


"Becoming a Great Essayist," a lecture series with Jennifer Cognard-Black through The Great Courses

If you have a clever anecdote, an interesting memory, a new way to explain how something works, or an opinion on a social or political issue, then you have an essay in you.  Discover the keys to unlocking your potential in essay writing through "Becoming a Great Essayist" with Professor Jennifer Cognard-Black.

Professor Jennifer Cognard-Black is able to speak to both novices and advanced writers in a clear, helpful, and personal manner about an assortment of topics equivalent to the coursework of a MFA. She knows the traditions of essay writing as well as the genre’s most lasting truths. Perhaps more than anything else (and there’s so much in these fabulous lessons to choose from), she shows writers how to pay attention to the world and to their own lives and, by doing these things, how to capture an audience through trust and the appeal of an honest voice and heart.
— Customer Review from The Great Courses
I write. I cook. I travel. I read. I mother. I teach. I edit. I collaborate. Walt Whitman once wrote that we humans contains multitudes, and I see my own life's work to expand the known while seeking the new. Food is an ideal metaphor for what I mean: a homemade cake is both comfort and challenge, whereas finishing my first tarte tatin made my fingers tingle, my toes curl. When I spend myself with heat and energy, I am teacher, feminist, writer, editor. When I seek stillness and beauty, I am reader and cook. When I am curious, I travel.  And when I wish to connect—as E. M. Forster said, “Only connect”—I am mother, spouse, friend, and collaborator. Welcome to my site.

I write. I cook. I travel. I read. I mother. I teach. I edit. I collaborate. Walt Whitman once wrote that we humans contain multitudes, and I see my own life's work to expand the known while seeking the new. Food is an ideal metaphor for what I mean: a homemade cake is both comfort and challenge, whereas finishing my first tarte tatin made my fingers tingle, my toes curl. When I spend myself with heat and energy, I am teacher, feminist, writer, editor. When I seek stillness and beauty, I am reader and cook. When I am curious, I travel.  And when I wish to connect—as E. M. Forster said, “Only connect”—I am mother, spouse, friend, and collaborator. Welcome to my site.


From Curlers to Chainsaws: Women and Their Machines

Winner of the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards.

AVAILABLE FROM MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY PRESS

Edited by Joyce Dyer, Jennifer Cognard-Black, and Elizabeth MacLeod Walls

“The toothsome essays found in From Curlers to Chainsaws...discover relentlessly revved and ready answers in the existential engineering of our everyday appliances and devices. These are works of stunning effort and raw oomph. These writers ratchet and roll, calculate and calibrate. They enter elegantly the number of ways nothing goes into the infinite.”

— Michael Martone, author of Winesburg, Indiana

“This is a book full of mechanized pleasures and frustrations unto torture, but more important, a book of women’s voices so clear and diverse and funny and heartbreakingly individual that you hurry from one to the next, even as you wish to linger longer with all. A smart and useful and wise anthology....”

— Bill Roorbach, author of Life among Giants

Learn more...

Books That Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal

AVAILABLE FROM NYU PRESS

Edited by Jennifer Cognard-Black and Melissa A. Goldthwaite, with a Foreword by Marion Nestle

"Books That Cook is more than simply another anthology; it’s a living text to be taken into the kitchen and spattered with sauces and gravy. In short, it’s meant to cook."

— John S. Sledge, Virginia Quarterly Review

"A buffet of poems, stories, essays and recipes.... Food lovers and cookbook collectors will savor this literary stew."

— Kirkus Reviews

Whether a five-star chef or beginning home cook, any gourmand knows that recipes are far more than a set of instructions on how to make a dish. They are culture-keepers as well as culture-makers, both recording memories and fostering new ones. 

Organized like a cookbook, Books that Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal is a collection of American literature written on the theme of food: from an invocation to a final toast, from starters to desserts. Learn more...