• Eating the Ocean

    Author(s):
    Pages: 200
    Illustrations: 29 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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    978-0-8223-6213-5
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    978-0-8223-6235-7
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  • Acknowledgments  vii
    Introduction. Relating Fish and Humans  1
    1. An Oceanic Habitus  23
    2. Following Oysters, Relating Taste  49
    3. Swimming with Tuna  77
    4. Mermaids, Fishwives, and Herring Quines: Gendering the More-than-Human  101
    5. Little Fish: Eating with the Ocean  129
    Conclusion. Reeling it In  159
    Notes  165
    References  169
    Index  183
  • "Elspeth Probyn wants to eat the ocean. I want to eat her book. It is one of the most profound works I have read on the sea, and the issues with which it presents us, in the 21st century, not least because it dares to digress and move into territories that other writers and academics have hitherto neglected."
     

    "Eloquently written, Probyn's vivid detail brings us along her journeys following (and eating many) oysters, swimming with tuna, covertly eating endangered bluefin tuna, and tracking the history of herring quines and women's roles in fishing. . . . I learned so much about the state of our oceans, where our seafood comes from, the danger in always choosing tuna and salmon, and the role of aquaculture (which provides more than half of all seafood consumed by humans!), but most importantly, I was encouraged to think differently about what 'sustainability' means, which I think is so important as a person who works in this sphere."

    "From a policy perspective, where queer and poststructuralist feminisms are completely absent from the framework, Probyn’s intervention is a much needed updating of sustainability discourses and food politics. As such, her account of herring wives and fish women is an important intervention into an environmental politics that either ignores women completely or that constructs them as virtuous consumers or vulnerable victims (105)."

    “I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is well-argued and Probyn bases her judgement on sound research. I hope a philanthropist, one with a love of the sea, buys lots of copies of the book and sends them to all politicians who have a role in marine and fishing policy, to the many bodies that represent the fishing industries across the globe, the fishing companies, and to as many individual fishing boats as possible.”

    "Eating the Ocean is fascinating in its emphasis on the interconnections and mutual influences among humans, ocean creatures and the ocean itself."

    Reviews

  • "Elspeth Probyn wants to eat the ocean. I want to eat her book. It is one of the most profound works I have read on the sea, and the issues with which it presents us, in the 21st century, not least because it dares to digress and move into territories that other writers and academics have hitherto neglected."
     

    "Eloquently written, Probyn's vivid detail brings us along her journeys following (and eating many) oysters, swimming with tuna, covertly eating endangered bluefin tuna, and tracking the history of herring quines and women's roles in fishing. . . . I learned so much about the state of our oceans, where our seafood comes from, the danger in always choosing tuna and salmon, and the role of aquaculture (which provides more than half of all seafood consumed by humans!), but most importantly, I was encouraged to think differently about what 'sustainability' means, which I think is so important as a person who works in this sphere."

    "From a policy perspective, where queer and poststructuralist feminisms are completely absent from the framework, Probyn’s intervention is a much needed updating of sustainability discourses and food politics. As such, her account of herring wives and fish women is an important intervention into an environmental politics that either ignores women completely or that constructs them as virtuous consumers or vulnerable victims (105)."

    “I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is well-argued and Probyn bases her judgement on sound research. I hope a philanthropist, one with a love of the sea, buys lots of copies of the book and sends them to all politicians who have a role in marine and fishing policy, to the many bodies that represent the fishing industries across the globe, the fishing companies, and to as many individual fishing boats as possible.”

    "Eating the Ocean is fascinating in its emphasis on the interconnections and mutual influences among humans, ocean creatures and the ocean itself."

  • "Beautifully written and full of profound ideas, Eating the Ocean engages the reader and surprises her at many turns. Elspeth Probyn complicates the current work being done on food politics, making this an urgent and necessary book for scholars of food studies, environmental culture, the materialist turn, consumer culture, and gender." — Sarah Sharma, author of, In the Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics

    "Once again Elspeth Probyn charts a contemporary site of contested encounters with style, humor, erudition, and wit. Moving on, through, and under the waves she provides a timely guide to eating the oceans more ethically by cultivating a metabolic sensibility more responsive to our entanglements with aquatic worlds." — Sarah Franklin, author of, Biological Relatives: IVF, Stem Cells, and the Future of Kinship

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  • Description

    In Eating the Ocean Elspeth Probyn investigates the profound importance of the ocean and the future of fish and human entanglement. On her ethnographic journey around the world's oceans and fisheries, she finds that the ocean is being simplified in a food politics that is overwhelmingly land based and preoccupied with buzzwords like "local" and "sustainable." Developing a conceptual tack that combines critical analysis and embodied ethnography, she dives into the lucrative and endangered bluefin tuna market, the gendered politics of "sustainability," the ghoulish business of producing fish meal and fish oil for animals and humans, and the long history of encounters between humans and oysters. Seeing the ocean as the site of the entanglement of multiple species—which are all implicated in the interactions of technology, culture, politics, and the market—enables us to think about ways to develop a reflexive ethics of taste and place based in the realization that we cannot escape the food politics of the human-fish relationship. 

    About The Author(s)

    Elspeth Probyn is Professor of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney and the author of Blush: Faces of Shame and Carnal Appetites: FoodSexIdentities.
     
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