'heightening his imagination with his appetite': Performing Vegetarianism and Consuming Spirits in The Blithedale Romance

Sarah Petersen

University of California, Davis

Sarah R. Petersen is a Ph.D. Candidate in English at the University of California, Davis. Her research and teaching interests include 19th and 20th-Century U.S. literature, dietary reform movements, gender studies, animal studies, ghost stories, and visual culture. Her current research explores the ways that 19th-century U.S. food cultures both shaped and were shaped by literary texts via engagements with spiritualism and the occult.


In this paper, I argue that Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Blithedale Romance (1852) can be productively read as a parodic dietary reform ghost story—a cautionary tale against total abstention from flesh that is also palpably... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Sarah Petersen (University of California, Davis)

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P16 » Acts of Consumption: Performance, Bodies, Culture (14:00 - Thursday, 22nd March, Enchantment A)

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