In this paper, I draw from STS, Anthropology, and Queer Theory to show how Sociotechnical Imaginaries around national palates have, at times, taken on the sensibility of Camp – celebrating and naturalizing the artificial. Where existing work on both Sociotechnical Imaginaries and Gastronationalism have focussed largely on the material output of sociotechnical systems, I draw attention to their emotional output, asking what affects or modes are evoked when imagining food in relation to nation. Orienting the paper around a stage performance, given in 2013 by butcher and Slow Food representative, Dario Cecchini, titled ‘Carne e Spirito’, I ask how efforts to recognise the variability and flexibility of small scale industry can and have instead come to naturalize both nation and national body, lapidifying had hitherto been fluid. This begs a second, perhaps more pressing question: how does the camp mode of celebration potentially obscure a more insidious practice of regulating a national body?
Sahar Tavakoli is a PhD Candidate in Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University. Her research concerns the place of mundane technologies in broadly-defined disciplinary structures. That is, how everyday and often-overlooked objects participate in the transformation of individuals into populations upon which standardized practice can be applied. To date she has written on patient-worn hospital gowns, identification tags, gynecological models, dolls, and geographically protected foods.
Sahar Tavakoli, “Butta la Pastiche! Camp Visions and National Palates”, inSighout. Journal on Gender and Sexuality in STEM Collections and Cultures, 1(2023), 30–36, DOI: 10.60531/insightout.2023.1.5