Innovation of meat knowledge

Duration August 2018 – July 2021

Project manager René John

Client BMBF

Cooperation partner Universität Regensburg, Landschaftsmuseum Westerwald, Deutsches Kochbuchmuseum Dortmund, Hochschule Fulda

Subproject in the joint project: The reification of the living: Meat as a Cultural Asset

In cooperation with the University of Regensburg, the Landscape Museum Westerwald, the German Cookbook Museum Dortmund and the University of Applied Sciences Fulda, funded by the BMBF (2018-2021).

The joint project “Verdinglichung des Lebendigen” (Reification of the Living) deals with the object “meat”, how it is transformed along the production chain from living animal to reified meat and sausage products. In this context, heterogeneous actors, discourses, and materialities give meat a genuine significance, which – especially in its partial polyphony and partial contradictoriness – allows statements to be made about social transformations and the associated innovation potential.

The subproject “Innovation of Meat Knowledge” deals with the change of social structures. This is about how random reproductive problems (variations) as opportunities lead to deviating, yet permanently current structures (selection) by establishing a fit to the social environment (retention) and thus led to the basically improbable global meat production and consumption. The effect of contingent intentions from science, politics, economics, and other contexts must be examined in order to clarify how the present order could be established. In this way, the language of the object meat can be used to highlight changes in social self-relationships with regard to nature and technology and to derive trends in the objectification of the living as raw material and foodstuff meat as.

Contact: René John

  • Online Meat Knowledge Symposium on February 25 and 26, 2021: “The Slaughterhouse and Modern Society – A Problematic Relationship”.
    For the program and more information click here.
    To view the abstract, click here.
    To read the report on the final symposium, click here.
    A conference report can be found here: Jana Rückert-John & Alexandra von Brunn (2021): Tagungsbericht zum Symposium “Das Schlachthaus und die moderne Gesellschaft – eine problematische Beziehung”. In: Möhring, Maren; Rückert-John, Jana (Hg.): Jahrbuch für Kulinaristik 3. München. Iudicium: 132-141.
  • Deutsche Welle interview with Jana Rückert-John: “Meat is no longer a private matter!
  • Here you can find the project homepage.

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