Constructing a Transhispanic Corpus of Authoritarian Food Discourse

Academics

Dr Lara Anderson
School of Languages and Linguistics

Intern

Gretel Evans
School of Historical and Philosophical Studies

Project Description

Food is a potent, yet understudied, site of control for authoritarian regimes. An aim of this interdisciplinary project is to gather and digitise a corpus of instruction about food published in Spain and Latin America during times of authoritarian rule. Digitizing a wide range of food texts this project will produce a global resource for scholarship in authoritarian food discourse, which highlights how food offers a site for the authoritarian state to introduce and enforce its hegemonic notions of citizens’ participation in national life. The internship will seek to develop a proof of concept in a database of texts related to authoritarian food discourse, making a subset of this data available via an online platform like Omeka.

Project Outcome

The internship created ‘Food Authoritarianism’, an Omeka database that brings together a variety of instructional food texts to demonstrate the way food was used as a site of control by authoritarian regimes in Spain and Latin America during the Twentieth Century. The database contains examples of domestic manuals, cookery books, gastronomic texts, official reports, legislation, official menus, newspapers, culinary guides, films, posters and advertising which made explicit to citizens what was expected during times of totalitarian rule. The project involved creating a database from a diverse range of transhispanic text types by planning and structuring the Omeka site, creating customised item metadata, importing data and adding files, and modifying the functionality and aesthetics of the site.