Syllabus: Telling Queer Food Stories

I facilitated this virtual workshop through the University of Arizona Museum of Art in December 2021. While this post can in no way capture the thought-provoking and vulnerable conversations/sharing that happened in that space, I wanted to share the curriculum here for anyone who may be interested:

We opened with Audre Lorde’s poem “Sowing.”

We then read excerpts from the following pieces:

“Setting the Table for Queer Futures: Potlucks as a Site of Queer Community-Building and Resistance,” Lynn Huynh

Roundtable: What is queer food?, Food & Wine

“Queer Food is Hiding in Plain Site,” Kyle Fitzpatrick

EMERGENCE & EXCESS: A CONVERSATION ON FASHION, AESTHETICS, AND ADORNMENT, Living & Fighting (not on food, but has some interesting thoughts on queerness & cultural production!)

Then we took some time to write, and share on, the following questions:

What is queer food? What is queer food writing?

We followed this with some of my favorite examples of queer food writing:

“Caramel” by Krys Malcolm Belc

“Mulberries” by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (not online)

“At the Parkway Deli,” by Stephanie Burt

“Bake Your Fear,” Rakesh Satyal

We finished with the following writing exercise:

Write about an ingredient or dish. It could be a dish that: Conjures up a queer food memory, helped you realize you were queer, calls to mind the communities and families (chosen and otherwise) you are part of, or that you grapple with as a queer person.

Write in any form you’d like: poetry, prose, a self-interview, notes, a play, a comic strip, a head note to a recipe, etcetera.

(I wasn’t able to add in anything from Nico Wisler’s incredible podcast Queer the Table, but I highly recommend you give it a listen!)


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