Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Department of English: English Studies
This thesis is a rhetorical analysis of nonfiction food texts as representative of a facet of life writing texts, and as they are currently viewed and used by readers both within and outside of the academy. The examination of food texts focuses around Kate Christensen's 2013 food memoir Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites and her food blog, Don't Let It Bring You Down that proceeded and followed the publication of the food memoir. Likewise, author Molly Wizenberg's food blog Orangette preceded the publication of her 2009 food memoir A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes From My Kitchen Table, and followed the print publication with more food experiences and recipes. I examine the individual constructions of the food memoir texts, the seeming purpose of the author's intent in writing food texts, and the effects of the writing on their readers. I also look at the way that the blogs differ from the food texts, and yet reinforce many of the same ideas represented in the texts. Finally, I examine the way that these texts can be used as serious academic sources and should be valued for their unique revelatory aspects. Within the thesis I ask and analyze overarching questions such as what is at stake for food writers and food readers? What purpose and effect do food texts have that differs from other types of life writing? The analysis has been revealing, rewarding, and really quite tasty!
Bruce, Kayla, "Consuming Food Memoirs: Identity, Experience, Legitimization as Rhetorical Sustenance" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 140.