Dining with the Cyborgs: Disembodied Consumption and the Rhetoric of Food Media in the Digital Age
This project explores digital media productions based specifically on food and cooking in order to demonstrate that new communication technologies are increasingly incorporating all five of the bodily senses. In doing so, they contribute significantly to the emergence of new ideological apparatuses appropriate for a global community. These apparatuses – including the formation of a posthumanist subject, the use of technology to support embodied cognition, and the establishment of entertainment as an ideological institution – have become the harbingers of a rhetorical evolution. Based on the work of Gregory Ulmer, along with Jacques Derrida, N. Katherine Hayles, Donna Haraway, and Cary Wolfe, this evolution expands the work of Plato and Aristotle by overcoming the privileging of mind over body and abstract reasoning over concrete physical experience. As such hierarchies become turned on their heads, a renewed emphasis on materiality and embodiment demands virtual products that stimulate the body. As such, a phenomenon I have named disembodied consumption takes place whereby users' chemical senses can be incited through participation with digital technologies. Through the stimulation of these physical senses, and in turn the connected emotions, today's digital citizens are practicing the rhetorical method referred to by Ulmer as conduction. By examining sites, blogs, and postings that include references to food and flavor, I reveal examples of conduction and show how this method is necessary for the development of well-being, and the defeat of compassion fatigue in digital society.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Texts and Technology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Cotto, Maggie, "Dining with the Cyborgs: Disembodied Consumption and the Rhetoric of Food Media in the Digital Age" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4978.