by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor, John Locke Foundation
After writing just yesterday about why professors say such abjectly stupid things as canoes reek of genocide, I was reminded of the following.
And unless this is an Sokalesque hoax, there are apparently some in academe who find such “a narrative of whiteness” in pumpkins that they published an academic paper on the subject. One is from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Kid you not.
No, really, these guys. A “narrative of whiteness.”
Here is from the abstract:
Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte, a widely circulated essay in McSweeney’s on “Decorative Gourd Season,” pumpkins in aspirational lifestyle magazines, and the reality television show Punkin Chunkin provide entry points into whiteness–pumpkin connections. Such analysis illuminates how class, gender, place, and especially race are employed in popular media and marketing of food and flavor; it suggests complicated interplay among food, leisure, labor, nostalgia, and race. Pumpkins in popular culture also reveal contemporary racial and class coding of rural versus urban places. Accumulation of critical, relational, and contextual analyses, including things seemingly as innocuous as pumpkins, points the way to a food studies of humanities and geography.
Please let it be a hoax.