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Type: Journal article
Title: Diplomatic gastronomy: style and power at the table
Author: Morgan, Linda
Citation: Food and Foodways, 2012; 20(2):146-166
Publisher: Routledge
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 0740-9710
School/Discipline: School of History and Politics
Statement of
Linda Morgan
Abstract: When world leaders sit together over a meal, much more can be communicated than their conversation. Typically, the event itself is more important than the food on their plates. A diplomatic meal can have the ceremonial splendor and protocol of a state dinner or the quiet power of a working lunch—but the symbolism embedded in both has potential to impact geopolitical issues. All commensality signals information to the individuals at table, including messages of status and symbolic kinship. The symbolism inherent in any shared meal has the ability not only to create relationships but to define them as well. As ubiquitous tools in the art of statecraft, diplomatic meals give participants and planners the opportunity to predict, identify, and fully understand the subtle messages such occasions create. A solid understanding of the semiotics of diplomatic gastronomy will allow researchers to decode and analyze state dinners and other diplomatically significant meals. This article explores the complex nature of semiotics associated with diplomatic gastronomy by examining four dining events hosted by American president John F. Kennedy.
Rights: Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
RMID: 0020124536
DOI: 10.1080/07409710.2012.680366
Appears in Collections:History publications

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