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Feast: The Meal explores the cultural contexts, architectures and performative rituals surrounding the meal. Whether dining with friends, strangers or alone, the act of eating constitutes a marker of individually or collectively performed identities.

Throughout the edition a focus on the meal as a cornerstone of communal relations is explored in a number of diverse contributions. Articles by Kwong Lee and Giorgio Scala present the meal as a conduit between the living and the dead, Jo Pike addresses the hidden assumptions within the ideal of the family dinner and Sarah Hunter discusses the vital role of a shared meal within the fabric of a theatre rehearsal.

Articles veer between personal anecdote, critical analysis and social commentary. Contributions from Jasleen Kaur and Laura Cuch detail the diverse cultural traditions contained within a recipe for Balti and Armenian Choreg. An essay by Melanie Jackson reveals histories contained within the consumption of milk products, whilst Caitriona Devery and Feast editor Laura Mansfield discuss the potential for the meal to become a site of cultural critique and political agency in the work of Peoples Kitchen Collective and Our Table.

Beyond the familiar rituals of the meal, artists Melanie Jackson, Amanda Couch and Benjamin Orlow reflect upon the diverse forms a meal can take, from the night time consumption of cheese to digesting offal and dining out on Michelin star bone marrow. Finally, Mariana Meneses Romero takes a discussion of unusual meals in yet another direction in her article on the work of artist Miriam Simun and the production of ‘human’ cheese. The eclectic mix of contributions presents a series of reflections on the forms, structures and meanings of the meal and its associated rituals that foreground its important role in the formation of individual and collective identities.