Timon of Athens, Food Transformations, and the World as Confectionary

Simon C. Estok

DOI: https://test.crossref.org/

Abstract

In the transformation of early modern English food sources from the local to the international are a wide range of questions about the global-sourcing/local-demand conflict that was developing in Shakespeare’s time and continues today. Shakespeare’s food reveals the complexities of a network of global and local actors and transformations. As a performance, Timon of Athens potentially arouses sometimes intense visceral responses (ones that are peculiarly resonant with contemporary audiences) to Timon’s dream that the world is his confectionary. One of the results of performing the transformation of food from the local to the global (the play’s explicit representation of the world as Timon’s unsustainable confectionary) is that we are better able to see and understand ecological collapse: while anthropogenic ecological collapses in early modern times were relatively isolated, today’s collapses are more properly understood as global. We witness the transformative and deterritorializing potentials of food, even while such transformations are in the service of a deeply nationalist agenda that is troubling and unsustainable in its rejection of global connectedness. Performance is vital for excavating the layers and implications of food transformations and potentials in Timon of Athens, a play deeply relevant to food transformation debates current in the 21st century.

Keywords

early modern food, global-sourcing/local-demand, performance, sustainable food sourcing, Timon of Athens

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

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International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Professor
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faruk
Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)