Performing Gastronomy: An Ecosophic Engagement with the Liveliness of Food
Individualized Program (INDI) PhD
David Szanto is a researcher, artist, and professor in gastronomy, exploring the material-discursive practices of food. His aim is to better understand the systemic, intra-active relationships between humans, food, and the processes that frame the experience of eating, which is at once a mundane act and a magnificently complicated daily performance. As a researcher in a field that does not yet wholly exist, David’s work takes an experimental, research-creation-reporting–based approach that includes theory and practices from the realms of design, ecology, complex systems, chemical physics, and cooking. Projects include: food performances that explore belonging, representation, and human-microbial dynamics; collaboration with digital artists to examine socio-technical hybrids; and curatorial work at the intersection of academia, art, and activism. Published works include articles and chapters on research-creation, collaboration in systems visualization, performance epistemologies, emotionality in academia, and the human-and-material performativities of food milieus. A former process facilitator and project manager with 20 years of experience in consulting, communications strategy, and editorial work, David has taught food studies, gastronomy, and communications at Concordia, UQÀM, and the University of Gastronomic Sciences (UNISG) in Italy. For three years, he was director of the UNISG master program in Representation, Meaning, and Media, and is now professor-at-large and coordinator of the university’s Eco-Gastronomy Project. He served four years as vice president of the Canadian Association for Food Studies and is currently an associate editor of its journal, Canadian Food Studies.
David Szanto defended his thesis in January 2015 and graduated with distinction at Spring Convocation.