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CFP—You Are What You Post: Food and Instagram

In the beginning, critics pegged Instagram as the site for polaroid-shaped pictures of brunch and babies. Its presumed whiteness, feminization, and superficial consumerism have been slow to draw sustained scholarly attention compared with Facebook and Twitter, despite the fact that by mid-2018, the image-based social media platform had topped one billion users worldwide. Now an extensive and heterogeneous visual ecosystem, Instagram’s unique relations between food and media—and the broader cultural significance of these dynamics—warrant critical scrutiny.

How does the “social photography” (Manovich 2014) of Instagram mediate ideas about food, eating, health, and nutrition? How does food intersect with diverse performances of identity, including celebrity, in the digital vernacular of posting photos with significant frequency? Considering more than 70% of American businesses are estimated to engage with the platform, how does the visual economy of Instagram participate in and reshape food and restaurant brand development and marketing? How does Instagram’s rapid global expansion reflect and reshape visual geographies of food and eating? Exploring these and other questions, this volume will bring together food and media studies scholars to cast an interdisciplinary lens on what we learn about the cultures and economies of food through the Instagram frame.

We seek contributors for focused, lively, and engaging chapters on the topic of food and Instagram. The volume will be peer-reviewed and has received interest from Bloomsbury Academic, a leading publisher of works on food. The press affords a growing list of texts in Food Media and Communication, bolstered by the Bloomsbury Food Library, which affords space for pedagogical components suitable for both undergraduate and graduate course adoption.

Potential chapter topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Food porn on and through Instagram
  • Restaurants, food brands, and marketing
  • Taste, reviews, expertise, and criticism
  • Social status, aspiration, and mobility
  • Nutrition, nutritionism, “healthy” eating, and food tracking
  • Digital worlds, data, surveillance, and technology  
  • Instagram and the construction of identity and the self
  • Generational considerations and impacts
  • Consumption, diet(ing), and influencers
  • Convergence, transgression, and Instagram aesthetics
  • Globalization, transnationalism, and circulation
  • Instagram, community, and isolation
  • Instagram users and uses in the Global South
  • Representations of farming, agriculture, and food landscapes  
  • Activism, resistance, and other potentials of food Instagram
  • Food and online toxicity
  • Instagram and pedagogy

If you are interested in submitting a chapter to this edited volume, please send a 300-word abstract and 150-word bio  to co-editors, Emily Contois (emily-contois [at] utulsa.edu) and Zenia Kish (zenia-kish [at] utulsa.edu), by April 1, 2019. Please include your preferred name and email address, title and institution (if applicable), and current city, state, and country. Contributors will be notified of preliminary acceptance by May 1, 2019. Chapters of 5,000-6,000 words, inclusive of notes and bibliography, will be due September 1, 2019. These are firm deadlines, so we ask that contributors please plan accordingly.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact either or both of the editors. We genuinely look forward to receiving your proposals. 

Top Image Credit: Diana Garvin and Emily Contois 

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