Performing Eating-As-Entertainment

  • 10 November 2023
    12:00 PM
  • Room G31, Gorkého 7, Brno

| English Department Research Seminar |

Friday| November 10 | 2023 | room G31 | 12.00-13.30

Performing Eating-As-Entertainment: Online Eating Shows and Involvement Strategies

Sofia Rüdiger | University of Bayreuth


Carnivalesque food videos, i.e., videos portraying a counterculture to the culture-dependent norms of healthy eating, which are (from a current Eurocentric and US-American perspective) based on moderation and control (Lupton 2020: 36), have become extremely popular. These food videos – embodied for example by cheat day vlogs, mukbang and eating shows, as well as excessive cooking shows – are based on overconsumption and excess, and elicit ambivalent reactions from their audiences – “affective forces, such as pleasure, greed, desire and self-indulgence but also bordering on inciting the responses of disgust and repulsion” (ibid.).

In this talk, I investigate the linguistic aspects of excessive food videos and show how language contributes to the performance of ‘eating-as-entertainment’. In particular, I focus on the use of involvement strategies in asynchronous eating shows (Rüdiger 2020), drawing on a corpus of 100 Anglophone shows from YouTube (produced by ten different video creators). Drawing on this material, I illustrate how eating show performers skillfully interweave eating and talking in front of the camera while evoking the genre of Korean livestreamed mukbang (Choe 2019). All performers represented in the corpus draw heavily on involvement strategies common to video blogging (Frobenius 2014), such as imperatives, questions, and nicknames, but additionally utilize eating and food evaluation sequences to create videos which appeal to the viewers. As an outlook, I present work-in-progress on other excessive food video types, such as cheat day vlogs and extreme cooking shows.

| BIO |

Dr. Sofia Rüdiger is Chair of English Linguistics at University of Bayreuth, Germany. She has done extensive research on World Englishes and Variational Sociolinguistics (with a focus on Asian Englishes), corpus linguistics and computer-mediated communication. She is the author of several books and journal special issues, on topics such as food discourse, online seduction and social media communication.


Share event

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info