Copyright: Thies Rätzke
Eating together is an everyday activity par excellence and has been researched in many ways. Less attention, however, is paid to the fact that eating and cooking collectively can also be fruitful as a research practice. Because of its quotidian character, a collective meal can unite different people and interests at one table. Hence, Inga Reimers started to investigate practices of collective eating as ways of gathering and producing knowledge. In addition to the social aspect of eating together, sensual components always play a role, which have a decisive influence on the process and atmosphere of eating together that is not always reflected upon. Doing research with (and not about) everyday practice raises both new and familiar questions and problems: How can knowledge be produced collectively at a dinner? How do scientists and non-scientists find a common language in this kind of research in order to make the implicit and the sensible tangible and negotiable? What roles emerge in such a research setting? And what does that mean for (ethnographic) research in general? In A Perfect Research Dinner?, Reimers invited guests to a supposedly perfect research dinner that she staged to investigate the thesis that especially implicit, tacit knowledge about eating cannot be presented in a theoretical lecture but presents itself within the practice of eating itself. On the one hand, it recapped the experience of the previous research dinner settings (see Reimers, Tactfulness, 2013) that used eating as a social and sensual experiment and as a performative research framework. On the other hand, the hypotheses that derived from the previous dinners were tested in a dining experiment and put up for discussion.
Researchers: Inga Reimers
Co-researchers: Alexa Färber, Gesa Ziemer, Sebastian Matthias, Elise von Bernstorff, Sibylle Peters, Frederike Neißkenwirth, Lena Urich, Bernhard Urich, Maria von Hacht, Christine Witzler, Lene Benz, Kerstin Evert, Nora Unger, Dorothea Grießbach, Hannah Kowalski, Regula Valérie Burri, Esther Pilkington, Julia Lerch-Zajączkowska, Jens Block
Participants: Jan Reimers, Sanne Neumuth, Saskia Frank and others