Cooking with Hannibal: Food, liminality and monstrosity in Hannibal | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 34, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1466-0407
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9118



Food plays a central role in the NBC show Hannibal, Bryan Fuller’s recent re-imagination of the well-known tale about a serial-killing psychiatrist named Dr Hannibal Lecter. This article traces food’s path from procurement via preparation to its consumption. Along this path, the article highlights how the show constantly questions binaries by intelligently interconnecting the eponymous character, who happens to be a cannibal, to his relation to food. In the end, this article demonstrates that food, a liminal object that enters the human body from the outside, is a remarkably potent semiotic vehicle for relating a story about a human monster who rejects and yet, surprisingly, at the same time reinforces cultural boundaries.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): cannibalism; food; Hannibal; Hannibal Lecter; horror; monster
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