American Metabolism: Food, the Body, and Time


ACLS Fellowship Program


Sociology, and the Center for Society and Genetics


This project investigates metabolism as a locus of potent philosophical, social, and scientific change: not as a conceptual and practical domain proper only to biomedicine or dietary advice, but as a site of critical cultural analysis. Drawing on both history and anthropology of science, metabolism is investigated as a set of ideas and practices that emerged in the nineteenth century together with industrialization, binding food and time together in new ways through questions of labor and work. A post-industrial metabolism is emerging today, and its ethnographic characterization provides insight into a new metabolism concerned more with information than manufacture. The book analyzes these material and conceptual transitions from an energetic to a regulatory metabolism.