Gastropolitical Encounters and the Political Life of Sensation

13 July, 2020

Photo: ‘Food’ from SRN’s SG Photobank

The Singapore Food Festival is a month-long celebration that takes place annually from the end of June to the end of July. The festival consists of activities like chef culinary workshops, food competitions, and food-themed tours of local neighbourhoods. Participants can look forward to satisfying their food cravings and increasing their culinary knowledge of both traditional and modern Singaporean cuisine.

‘Gastropolitical Encounters and the Political Life of Sensation’ (The Sociological Review, 2020) by Associate Professor Kelvin Low (NUS Sociology) emphasises the importance of food as a political object. Food is used as a diplomatic tool to enhance and maintain economic and international relations. In local and foreign policy, food is regularly included as gifts, and having a meal together is a common practice.

Using the notion of ‘political gustemology’, A/P Low makes conceptual connections between food, senses, and political life. The article focuses on the sensory aspects of gastropolitical encounters, which diverges from existing research on gastrodiplomacy, and provides a new framework to understand the embodied and sensory features of political affairs in everyday life.

Read the article here.