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AADS Brown Bag: Devouring the Inscrutable: Eating Asians and the Politics of Enfleshment


Dr. Athia Choudhury, AADS Postdoctoral Fellow

Asians are eating-in movies, on the internet. Slurping, chugging, chomping: the plates are abundant and overflowing while the eaters are often thin, young, and dainty. This talk juxtaposes and contextualizes the phenomenon of Asian "eating" content (such as popular Korean "eating broadcasts" or Mukbang videos, Asian diasporic food writing, and daily eating vlogs) alongside the historic figure of the "starving/hungry" Asian, a lingering trope from mid-twentieth century famine rhetoric and nutritional literature. By analyzing literary, visual, and performance archives, I argue that for Asian/American and diasporic subjects, food and eating become mediums through which bodies that are otherwise inscribed as mechanical, surplus, or inscrutable are able to find expressive modes for feelings of love, regret, forgiveness, and sympathy. As these affectively imbued biological processes of feeding, eating, and digesting come to mediate complex, intergenerational feelings, food and the Asiatic body have also been mobilized in the imperial American repertoire as a site of incongruity and terror. Thinking through the scalar and lingering affects of the stomach, this talk asks us to consider: how does Asiatic flesh travel and adhere through points of contact with its own biological processes-of weight-gain and loss, hunger and fullness, illness and aging? The speaker will be Dr. Athia Choudhury, a postdoctoral fellow at AADS. This hybrid event will take place on Friday, 10/21 from 12 PM - 1 PM. Please contact with any questions! Food will be provided to in-person attendees. Please register at the following link:


Asia focus, Brown Bag, Diversity/Inclusion, Free Food and Beverages, Health/Wellness, Humanities, Lecture/Talk, Multicultural/Identity, Politics, United States Focus