Moth: Design for Life & Death An Extra Place at the Table Haunted Landscapes: Nature, Super-Nature, and Global Environments. Conference: Falmouth University, 4-6 July 2023

Salkeld, Nicola ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2626-965X and Rudolph, Ashley ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9666-9099 (2023) Moth: Design for Life & Death An Extra Place at the Table Haunted Landscapes: Nature, Super-Nature, and Global Environments. Conference: Falmouth University, 4-6 July 2023. In: Haunted Landscapes: Nature, Super-Nature, and Global Environments, 4 6 July 2023, Falmouth Woodlane Campus. (Unpublished)

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Abstract / Summary

An Extra Place at the Table: This paper will be examining bereavement and mourning through funeral feasting. The act of preparing and eating; turning food from substance to communal and social ritual. The funeral feast/table as both a physical, transformative and symbolic place.
 
It is still common for Western funeral attendees to gather after the funeral service and share food, commensality strengthens kinship bonds and brings comfort by developing and reaffirming relationships. These conventions, connect the living and dead through ancient bereavement rituals and memorialization practices, remaining as an enduring part of the material world of grief.
 
In “S is for Sad” in her An Alphabet for Gourmets (1949), food writer M.F.K. Fisher writes of mourners’ deep need for sustenance at this time as a “mysterious appetite that often surges in us when our hearts seem breaking and our lives too bleakly empty”. 
 
‘“The act of preparing food, followed by the act of consuming it, is similar in this way to the way our bodies decay. We prepare dead bodies for public consumption, through washing purifying, embalming, or cremating them.’’ (Death and Ritual Practices, Dying To Eat Candi K. Cann)
 
The paper will explore different aspects of the funeral feast: as commemoration, celebration and communion between the living and the dead. From sin eating to séance, from cocktails to last suppers, from the macabre to the melancholy.
 
By understanding the cultural and historical significance of funeral feasting, we can gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which food can serve as a vehicle for communicating complex ideas around death and mourning. How we can confidently express ‘negative’ emotions to help navigate grief and to communicate empathy and loss in our social relationships.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Communication > Graphic Design
Courses by Department: The School of Communication > Graphic Design
Depositing User: Nicola Salkeld
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2023 13:03
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2023 14:32
URI: https://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/5290

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