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Eating the Ocean

By
Elspeth Probyn
Elspeth Probyn

Elspeth Probyn is Professor of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney and the author of Blush: Faces of Shame and Carnal Appetites: FoodSexIdentities.

 

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Duke University Press
ISBN electronic:
978-0-8223-7379-7
Publication date:
2016

In Eating the Ocean Elspeth Probyn investigates the profound importance of the ocean and the future of fish and human entanglement. On her ethnographic journey around the world's oceans and fisheries, she finds that the ocean is being simplified in a food politics that is overwhelmingly land based and preoccupied with buzzwords like "local" and "sustainable." Developing a conceptual tack that combines critical analysis and embodied ethnography, she dives into the lucrative and endangered bluefin tuna market, the gendered politics of "sustainability," the ghoulish business of producing fish meal and fish oil for animals and humans, and the long history of encounters between humans and oysters. Seeing the ocean as the site of the entanglement of multiple species—which are all implicated in the interactions of technology, culture, politics, and the market—enables us to think about ways to develop a reflexive ethics of taste and place based in the realization that we cannot escape the food politics of the human-fish relationship. 

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