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October 7 Seminar: Francoise Lionnet

Hunger Artists in the Global Economy

This paper focuses on food consumption as a "problem" that reveals complex symbolic questions of gender, development, and globalization. I focus here on one specific case of anorexia among women textile workers in the Republic of Mauritius, but I am interested in the larger issue of national identity, McDonaldization, and anti-globalization movements in France as well. Using a fictional testimonial narrative, I show how personal stories can reveal important social realities missed by "development experts." The public theatre of nationalist politics and the private realm of women's lives are brought together here by the same spectacular gestures of refusal and rejection, and by analogous ways of dealing with inequities, of refusing consumption.

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