Community Engaged Humanities Research Early Career Fellow, 2021-2022

Jaclyn Rohel

Jaclyn Rohel earned her Ph.D. in Food Studies at New York University in 2018. She is the Reviews Editor of the journal Gastronomica and currently holds a postdoctoral fellowship with the University of Toronto Scarborough’s Culinaria Research Centre, where she is a collaborator on three major research projects, Feeding the City: Pandemic and Beyond, City Food Resiliency, and Catering Communities. Prior to her interdisciplinary work in Food Studies, Jaclyn studied ethics and the philosophy of the body. She has written on praxis and pedagogy in the humanities, on street food, markets and public culture, and on culinary mobilities in global foodways.

Pleasure and the Ethics of Hospitality in Urban Foodways

Jaclyn’s research program will explore pleasure as a site of hospitality in the building of diverse and equitable urban foodways. She will be working on a manuscript titled The Culinary Politics of Hospitality: Pleasure, Poison, and Publics in a Globalizing City, a critical genealogy of a single comestible – betel quid – that echoes global commodity biographies of popular stimulants such as sugar, coffee and chocolate. Betel quid has long been mired in a classificatory and corporeal politics: as a pleasurable comestible, refreshment, and tool of hospitality for many throughout the Indian Ocean region and in diasporic communities beyond; as a contaminant, of bodies and of cities; and as a street food that is not itself a foodstuff. By tracing how imperialism has shaped the value of betel quid over time, this work will tell the story of how a widely popular and pleasurable comestible has struggled to find a place within Western culinary repertoires and has often come to be excluded from notions of sustenance. In the coming year, Jaclyn’s community engagement will focus on culinary pleasure, care and conviviality in Toronto’s diverse foodways through her continued work on two other projects, Feeding the City and Catering Communities, which will feature collaboration with a local social enterprise and multiple forms of public communication. She will also be developing the format for a new “What to Read Now” segment for Gastronomica’s collaborative podcast series.

About this fellowship

The Community Engaged Humanities Research (CEHR) Early Career Fellowship is offered thanks to the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the Humanities for the initiative Humanities at Large at the Jackman Humanities Institute. Humanities at Large is a three-year project intended to foster knowledge exchange between the university and the communities it engages.


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