Morgan Cohen is currently pursuing her M.A. in Rhetoric and Communication Design at the University of Waterloo. Her research interests encompass understanding the “how” and “why” of structures of knowledge, that is, the “what” that may reflect its content, yet distorts the possibilities of meaning. She hopes to use these understandings to change the mechanisms by which information is obtained and disseminated to create a vibrant body politic.
In Forage, Rita Wong explores the subversion and lexicon of “familiar” neoliberal culture with its less-familiar harmful consequences. The definition of forage is to conduct a “wide search over an area in order to obtain something, especially food or provisions” (Oxford). By “forage,” Wong largely means the process of “scouring” to locate the source of cultural malaise, the result of this capitalist influence. However forage has another layer of meaning in its Germanic origin, also pertinent here: it means “fodder,” that is, “a person or thing regarded only as material for a specific use” (Oxford). This essay shows how the imagery related to fodder represents national political ethea of subverting responsibility and cultural apathy. Wong highlights the individual’s search and need for sustenance, and how the same individual caught within the capitalist system and its deployment of “status quo stories” that are used as “fodder” for the functioning of neoliberal machinery.