Some speculative notes on the act of eating together: Eating is from the start a radical act. One takes an object of the world and by making it transgress the liminal threshold of one’s body, it becomes a part of it. An object of the world becomes your body. There is of course great risk involved in doing this; the event itself could be pleasurable and nourishing but it could also potentially kill you if the object you ingest is misrecognized or wrongly prepared. Eating together is today for many a normative activity and the effects of doing this are often taken for granted. While the concept of risk is at the forefront of eating, it is not something that we are consciously reflecting on while at a casual dinner (except the many people suffering from food allergies), unconsciously the embodiment of risk is still foundational when eating today and this becomes risking something in public when we’re eating together. The radicality happens with the social configuration of subjectivities in a group when the group is risking something together, in the act of coming together through eating food a specific bond of care for the other is created out of necessity of the risk involved in this act. Therefore cooking and eating together installs a foundation of care in a group from which a different kind of conversation and interaction can arise, generated by the commensal experience. Care is intrinsic to feminism and so cooking and eating together becomes embodying feminisms! This is even before we start to reflect on the symbolic act of blurring the boundaries between the domestic and the professional which becomes apparent when claiming space for cooking, cleaning doing the dishes together in the context of the professionalised university today.
Annotated by AE