Digesting performance: An embodied-environmental approach to food pedagogy





food pedagogy, embodied learning, performance, trust, risk, transdisciplinarity


Food and food systems are distinct from many other areas of study, in part because of the material, experiential, and affective elements they comprise. Teaching about food can therefore benefit from pedagogical approaches that acknowledge, account for, and activate intersubjectivity, emotions, and relationships to both physical space and food matter. A pedagogy of performance responds to these needs with both theoretical and practical tools, as well as an inherently systems-based perspective and opportunities for experiential and interdisciplinary learning. This article presents the processes and observed outcomes of an intensive food and performance course taught at Quest University Canada during the Fall of 2019. [Course Name] brought together critical discussions of food studies and performance texts, analysis of food-related performances and artworks, bodywork and affect exercises, and practical experience in performance creation. The result was an experiment in mixing discursive and embodied learning that raised and examined complex food issues, activated individual investment in these issues, and brought about student success and transformation.

Author Biography

David Szanto, Carleton University

David Szanto is a researcher, artist, and teacher, taking an experimental approach to gastronomy through design, ecology, and performance. Having previously taught at Concordia University, l’Université du Québec à Montréal, and the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, he is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Carleton Univeristy.




How to Cite

Szanto, D. (2022). Digesting performance: An embodied-environmental approach to food pedagogy. Canadian Food Studies / La Revue Canadienne Des études Sur l’alimentation, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.15353/cfs-rcea.v8i4.454