Durham University

St Cuthbert's Society

Institute of Advanced Studies

Each Michelmas term, Cuth’s hosts a visiting Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Study (IAS), who lives in the college and engages both formally and informally in our research activities.

2018-2019 Fellow

Professor David Sutton is Professor of Anthropology at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where he has taught since 1999. During his stay at Durham, Professor Sutton will be continuing a recent project that has grown out of his interest in the diverse meanings of food in Greece. This project considers how food discourses and food practices have been mobilized to address social insecurities created by the Greek crisis and subsequent EU-imposed austerity programs. It looks at the imposition of neoliberal ideologies which emphasize individualism and a disembedded view of economic practices from social life in relation to the embedding practices surrounding food in Greece. His project examines the role of practices such as food sharing, solidarity networks, collective cooking and alternate currencies and the “suspended coffee movement,” as well as the role of food as symbol in social protests and in discourses of blame and responsibility for the crisis.

Public Lecture: 'Rethinking Commensality: The Sensory Politics of Eating Together in Contemporary Times'

13th November 2018, 18:15 to 19:15, St Cuthbert's Society


In this talk, Professor David Sutton will explore the venerable topic of commensality, or eating at shared table, and suggests that it needs a reconsideration. Drawing on images from popular culture as well as his own research in Greece, Professor Sutton will argue for the neglected importance of commensality in understanding its relationship to creating sociability and its political potential in contemporary, precarious times. How does cooking and eating together become a political act that challenges some of the key aspects of neoliberal times? By looking at the “Social Kitchen” movement in Greece, he will show some of the ways that sharing food becomes both a symbol and a practice representing resistance to contemporary alienation.

This lecture is free and open to all.

Directions to Dining Hall, St Cuthbert's Society

Map - St Cuthbert's Society is denoted as building No. 16