Dr Ana Tominc (PhD) is a Reader in the Media, Communication and Performing Arts division at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.
- Research Overview
- Research Interests
- Research Publications
- Funded Projects
- Teaching & Learning
- Activities & Awards
My background is in social anthropology, cultural studies and linguistics. I have a keen interest in pop culture, food and languages, and through-out my career I have been interested in phenomena at an intersection of these areas, both contemporary and diachronically.
Following an undergraduate degree in Cultural Studies and Social Anthropology in Slovenia, I briefly worked as an editor at an academic publishing house. After an MA in Language studies by Research (supervised by Prof Geoffrey Leech, the University of Lancaster, 2008) for which I won Geoff Leech Scholarship, I was awarded an ESRC grant for a PhD project which was an interdisciplinary study combining critical discourse analysis, cultural and food studies. I focused on the globalization of celebrity chefs’ discourse, such as Jamie Oliver’s, and the discourse change their intervention caused in countries, such as Slovenia, where my case study was situated (supervised by Prof Ruth Wodak, the University of Lancaster, 2012).
My first monograph, entitled, The Discursive Construction of Class and Lifestyle. Celebrity Chef Cookbooks in post-Socialist Slovenia (John Benjamins, 2017), discusses transformations in the construction of culinary taste, lifestyle and class through cookbook language style in post-socialist Slovenia. Using a critical discourse studies approach, it demonstrates how the representation of culinary advice in standard and celebrity cookbooks has changed in recent decades as a result of general social transformations such as postmodernity and globalization and argues that compared to the standard cookbooks, where nutritionist ideology is at the forefront, the celebrity cookbooks reflect the conversational, hybrid nature of the genre, through which they promote global foodie discourse, while at the same time localizing the global trends to the Slovene context.
I joined QMU in 2014 to work on development and delivery of the new MSc Gastronomy degree, where I was also the programme leader. I have since taught topics related to food, culture, media, communication and qualitative research methods as part of various degrees across QMU, and have developed food-related modules for QMU partners in India. Since 2019, I am also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SF HEA).
My research interests are focused on food and communication broadly. I have published in the areas of food, lifestyle and class; food and early television in Europe; food and neo-Nazism on Youtube; and food in socialist Yugoslavia. My forthcoming edited collection (Routledge, 2021) explores food and cooking on early TV in Europe, presenting nine European contexts of the 1950s and 1960 through genres such as travelog, cooking show and TV food competition, and, for the first time, demonstrating the role of early television in development of the European postwar foodways.
I am the founder of the Biennial Conference on Food and Communication, which was first organized in Edinburgh in 2018, and, since 2020, a member of the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS).
Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:
- Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS)
- British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES)
- Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA)
- Food Researchers in Edinburgh Network (FRIEDinburgh)
- Higher Education Academy (HEA) - Senior Fellow
Professional Social Media:
- ResearchGate - researchgate.net/profile/Ana_Tominc
- Google Scholar - scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=MQ67zLkAAAAJ&hl=en
- Academia - qmu.academia.edu/AnaTominc
Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre membership:
My research interest lies at the intersection between discourse analysis, media and cultural studies and food studies. I am interested in contemporary discourse on food in various media, and how they related to identity, such as class and nation. I am also keen on historical topics that address representation of food diachronically, especially on television, and especially in the context of socialist Yugoslavia.
My forthcoming edited collection (Routledge, 2021) explores food and cooking on early TV in Europe, presenting nine European contexts of the 1950s and 1960 through genres such as travelog, cooking show and TV cooking competition, and, for the first time, demonstrating the role of early television in development of the European postwar foodways.
My new project, entitled “Representing food in UK media during the Brexit campaign: Policy, regulation and national food myths,” supported by the Carnegie Research Incentive Grant (from 2021) aims to pursue the question of the role that dietary myths play in UK media representations that seek to inform, persuade and entertain the public in the period leading to the Brexit referendum. The project analyzes UK daily newspapers in the four months from the date the referendum was announced to the referendum itself using qualitative methodology relying on NVivo software and a detailed critical discourse analysis of selected newspaper articles to provide a contextualized analysis of the functioning of such myths. Together with Dr Rebecca Finkel (QMU), I am also looking into the role of food during the first UK-wide lockdown in 2020. The research, supported by QMU BeaM ERC Researcher Development Fund and QMU School Award for Research Support, seeks to explore how lockdown transforms people’s everyday relationship with food as evidenced through diaries and diary-based interviews. By examining lived experiences of the UK pandemic lockdown from personal accounts, we are seeking to make sense of the social world at this historic moment by examining new patterns of behaviour which are emerging in response to crisis circumstances.
My third project relates to food media in socialist Yugoslavia, which I am pursuing with colleagues from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. I am specifically interested in the role the food media played in transformation of the Yugoslav postwar tastes and lifestyles, and, specifically, audience responses to various food-related media, such as magazines and television, in their daily lives.
Additionally, I am a supervisor to two PhD students, who are exploring food, culture and media research projects.
My interest lies at the intersection between discourse analysis, media and cultural studies and food studies. I am interested in contemporary discourse on food in various media, and how it relates to identity, such as class and nation. I am also keen on historical topics that address representation of food diachronically, especially on television (although not exclusively).
Active research interests (list 10 key areas max):
- Taste, lifestyle and food
- Culinary (national) identity and nationalism
- Food and racism/stereotypes
- Food, the media and Brexit
- Food media in Socialist Central and South-eastern Europe
- Food and early television in Europe
- COVID-19 lockdown and everyday life (food related)
Research Methods (list 10 key areas max):
- (Critical) Discourse analysis
- Narrative analysis
- NVivo analysis
Please see my research publications in eResearch – Queen Margaret University’s repository
- 2020 – Carnegie Trust Research Incentive Grant (GBP 14,270.00) - Representing food in UK media during the Brexit campaign: Policy, regulation and national food myths
- 2020 – QMU School Award for Research Support (GBP 1,992.00) – Early Food Television in Europe
- 2020 – QMU BeaM ERC Researcher Development Fund (GBP 992.00) – COVID19 Diaries Project
- 2018 – Association for the Study of Food and Society – 1 st Biennial Food and Communication Conference grant ($2,000 – maximum available)
- 2016 Santander Universities – Research Grant
I have been teaching in UK higher education for more than a decade. I started as a seminar tutor while I was a PhD student at Lancaster University, where I taught courses on language and the media, discourse analysis, and critical discourse analysis. I later taught English for Academic Purposes and Study Skills to various age groups and nationalities, at the Universities of Lancaster, Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh.
At Queen Margaret University Edinburgh I have taught and developed postgraduate and undergraduate modules on a range of modules to do with food, culture, communication and the media, as well as research methods. I have also supervised students of all levels. During 2014-17, I was also a programme co-leader for MSc Gastronomy.
My seminars and lectures focus on contemporary food and drink, culture and communication and media, amongst other topics.
Since 2019, I am a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (SF HEA).
In 2020/21 I will teach on modules related to the following topics:
I currently also supervise two PhD students.
2020 - June “Researcher of the Month” - QMU School of Social Sciences, Arts and Management