Writings

In-Progress Writing

(2021) Conspiring to be Convivial

Dissertation
Supervisor: Alessandra Renzi
Review by doctoral committee

I examine the material practices of fermentation to better imagine how we could (continue to) live with microbial life. Using a combination of communication studies, feminist thought, and cultural studies, I propose three theoretical concepts for how we engage with the seemingly invisible. This research is supported by a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

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(2020) UDL Practices

Teaching Gradually: practical pedagogy for graduate students, by graduate students, Stylus Publishing
Edited by Derina S. Samuel
Review by editor

This chapter examines three barriers to learning that were identified over two terms of 300-level undergraduate teaching a. As a graduate student new to Universal Design for Learning (UDL), I explain the assumptions I carried into the classroom; how students challenged these my assumptions; and how employing a UDL approach helped to create a conducive learning environment for all.

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(2020) Make Kin Through Eating

Jahnne Pasco-White: Kin, Art Ink
Edited by Nico Taylor
Blind peer-reviewed

In this paper, I consider eating and art-making as ethical encounters, using the artwork of Jahnne Pasco-White as a point of departure. I take the notion of embodiment and co-constitution in a literal sense by thinking about eating as a way to make kin between and across species.

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(2020) Performative Food-Acts

Conversations with Food, Vernon Press.
Edited by Dorothy Chansky and Sarah Tracy
Blind peer-reviewed

This chapter argues that thinking about fermentation (and other food encounters) in a non-hierarchical way can help us to scrutinize a human-centered worldview. Pivotal to this argument is the notion of a performative food act, a concept I unpack, which distributes agency across different species and ambient (f)actors. Through repetitive invocations, performative food acts keep the ontological basis of microbes from being fixed in an anthropocentric manner. They help frame food encounters as layered, contingent performances that decenter the human ‘protagonist’ to see other interdependent relations.

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Writing Oasis in Tokyo (2020) by Maya Hey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Published Academic Writing

(2020) Against Healthist Fermentation: problematizing the ‘good’ of gut health and ferments

Journal of Critical Dietetics, Volume 5, Issue 1
Edited by Alissa Overend, Meredith Bessey, Adele Hite, and Andrea Noriega
Blind peer-reviewed

This paper examines healthist fermentation, or pursuing fermentation in the name of gut health, to problematize assumptions about choice and control in fermentation contexts. It argues that health is not a fixed state but rather enacted with more-than-human agencies and (re)negotiated at every eating event.

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(2019) Horizontal Exchange, Relations, and Resistance in Bioart and Practice-Based Research

Journal international de bioéthique et d’éthique des sciences, Volume 30, Number 4
Co-authored with WhiteFeather Hunter and Emilie St-Hilaire.
Blind peer-reviewed

The arts and sciences carry different epistemics and values in research. And, they are often organized in a vertical manner privileging the knowledge of one domain over the other. With this in mind, how could trans-disciplinary and practice-based research (such as bioart or food research) flatten epistemic hierarchies and foster more horizontally collaborative methods towards a shared and critical understanding of bioethics?

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(2018) Fermentation as Engagement: on more-than-human connections and materiality

Introduction to Cuizine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures, Volume 9, Issue 1
Co-authored with Alex Ketchum
Reviewed by Editor-in-Chief

How can integrating the perspectives of food, feminism, and fermentation help us to think about our world differently? In our first of two special issues, our contributors attend to questions of anthropocentrism, or human-centered thinking, to see how we are already tethered to and rely on other beings.

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(2019) Fermentation Praxis as Interspecies Communications

PUBLIC, Issue 59
Edited by Meredith Tromble and Patricia Olynyk
Blind peer-reviewed

Given that the human-microbe relationship is an entangled one, how do we relate to, communicate
with, and live alongside microbes who we cannot easily see or sense? Through feminist accounts of the body and discussions about embodied knowledge, this article contends that fermentation is an instance of interspecies communications because its practices require repeated encounters with microbial life.

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(2018) Speculative Fiction as Companion Species in Food Studies Research

Graduate Journal of Food Studies, Volume 5, Issue 2
Co-authored with Markéta Dolejšová.
Reviewed by editor

This paper builds on concepts put forth by Anna Tsing (2012) and Donna Haraway (2003), arguing that material-semiotic relations matter in the context of food research. In addition to the material and the semiotic, we contend that a third dimension be considered: the speculative. Our essay embraces the possibility of taking speculation seriously as a mode of scholarly food inquiry, especially in the transdisciplinary field of food studies. We mobilize the ethos of speculative fiction as research tool for imagining a food future that reflects on the troubled present, inspiring us to look into possibilities, potentiates, and ideating plausible what-ifs.

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(2018) Fermentation as Agitation: transforming how we live together

Introduction to Cuizine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures, Volume 9, Issue 2
Co-authored with Alex Ketchum
Reviewed by Editor-in-Chief

How can integrating the perspectives of food, feminism, and fermentation help us to think about our world differently? Our second issue focuses on how an integrative approach to food, feminism, and fermentation can attend to inequalities in the political and social structures of our living, eating worlds. It builds on the idea of reframing our human existence as a web of relations.

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Public Scholarship and Other Writings
Koji Banks (2019) CC-NC-SA

(forthcoming publication)

A day in the life of winter brewing with Terada Honke, one of only two natural sake breweries in Japan. Based on ethnographic research and continued collaboration since January 2019.

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The Ongoing Work of Feminism and Fermentation

Blog post written for Concordia University as part of the Public Scholars Program. This post deliberately connects the theoretical connections between feminist thought and fermentation praxis.

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cover design by Monica Femi Laflamme

fff musings

musings is the biennial publication of the working collective fff: food, feminism, fermentation. The inaugural edition is a collection of stories with food, feminism, and fermentation written from a diverse range of perspectives, including scholars, activists, artists, and practitioners.

LINK TO PUBLICATION

New Gastronome

Dispatches from the frontlines of fermentation with explanations for how Terada Honke brews sake and makes koji. It includes moments that illustrate Terada Honke’s ‘natural’ brewing philosophy.

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Microbes: Good or Bad? (Or Neither?)

Blog post written for the Public Scholars Program at Concordia University. We may categorically label microbes as one thing (e.g. probiotic/pathogenic), but organizing the world around us into binaries can lead us to more trouble.

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Opinion: Romaine lettuce alert shows limits of our power over microbes

An opinion piece published in The Montreal Gazette on November 24, 2018, after another E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce. I argue that these food recalls are symptomatic of a much larger problem: the myth that we can control microbial life. If we are to address the actual root cause of food alerts and recalls, we need to change the way we think about how we live with microbes in everyday ways.

LINK TO OPINION PIECE

More resources coming soon.
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