Free Lunch with the Stench Wench: towards a synaesthetics of poverty and shame in Catherine Hoffmann’s performance

Kokoli, Alexandra M. ORCID: (2018) Free Lunch with the Stench Wench: towards a synaesthetics of poverty and shame in Catherine Hoffmann’s performance. Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, 33 (3) . pp. 485-499. ISSN 0887-5367 [Article] (doi:10.1111/hypa.12399)

PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Download (455kB) | Preview


Catherine Hoffmann’s Free Lunch with the Stench Wench is a performance of abjection and self-abjection through poverty with an apotropaic aspiration: to shed the shame through sharing, and to create opportunities for a common social subjectivity that refuses to be silent about the struggle of its own creation and maintenance. Despite its title, Free Lunch does not come with a free lunch for the audience but creates an olfactory situation, through the on-stage cooking of hot chocolate and the presence of a dead rat, which compliments Hoffman’s narration and stage presence into a synaesthetic portrait of poverty and its psychosocial fallout. Drawing on the psychological foundations of shame studies, sociological approaches and social-theoretical responses to austerity and social division, I propose to examine the gendered embodiment of shame and its exorcism in Hoffmann’s performance, focusing on its physical codification in and beyond the visual. I explore the potential of shame to be re-weaponised against those who originally inflict it, and consider the shame that haunts every creative act, especially those with high political stakes: the failure to make a connection, the fear of being misunderstood.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Volume 33, Issue 3 (Special Issue: Gender and the Politics of Shame)
As of 2020, Hypatia is no longer published by Wiley. Current content can be found on the new publisher's website:
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > CREATE/Feminisms cluster
Item ID: 23033
Notes on copyright: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Kokoli, A. (2018), Free Lunch with the Stench Wench: Toward a Synaesthetics of Poverty and Shame in Catherine Hoffmann's Performance. Hypatia, 33: 485-499. doi:10.1111/hypa.12399, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Alexandra Kokoli
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2017 15:17
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 20:06

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Full text downloads (NB count will be zero if no full text documents are attached to the record)

Downloads per month over the past year