Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

New book will explore philosophy of food and literature

Monday, 25 September 2017

Academic releases new book on Germany-but with a twist

Dr Maria Christou, Vice Chancellor Fellowship member in the Department of English and Modern Languages, is releasing a book investigating where ‘food’ and ‘being’ intersect in 20th century literature.

The book, Eating Otherwise: The Philosophy of Food in Twentieth-Century Literature, explores strange or unusual acts of eating in modernist and postmodernist literature. Dr Christou says “It shows us how modernist and postmodernist authors interpreted the injunction to 'make it new' from a food-based perspective.” Although the book engages with the literary scene of the twentieth century and its experimentalism more widely, it engages in particular with the work of two modernist writers (Georges Bataille and Samuel Beckett) and two postmodernist writers (Paul Auster and Margaret Atwood). An excerpt is available on the publisher’s webpage. Parts of the book can also be viewed on google books.   

Before coming to Brookes, Dr Christou completed a PhD at Lancaster University. The book emanates from her doctoral thesis. She says that her interest in the subject emerged during her MA, during which she wrote a dissertation on humans, animals, laughter and blushing. Through this MA dissertation. Dr Christou began thinking about human and animal mutuality and, from there, she was eventually led to their mutual need for, and consumption of, food. 

In addition to this book, Dr Christou has a chapter in the forthcoming Routledge Companion to Literature and Food (due to be published in 2018). It is entitled ‘Alimentary Monstrosities: Genetically Modified Food in Contemporary Literature’.

Eating Otherwise: The Philosophy of Food in Twentieth-Century Literature is due to be published on the 28 September 2017 with Cambridge University Press.