Category Archives: anthropology

CFP: Dystopian Underbellies of Food Utopias

With visions of Soylent (or the original, here) in the news these days, who can resist the following call for papers for a panel at the upcoming International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) conference in Zagreb, June 21-25, 2015.

Here is the panel description:

THE DYSTOPIAN UNDERBELLY OF FOOD UTOPIAS
Meltem Türköz (Işık University), António Medeiros (ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon)

This panel aims to bring together papers that explore the moral, aesthetic and philosophical axises around which food utopias are invoked, practiced and performed. Alan Warde’s insight that “the structural anxieties about our age are made manifest in discourses about food” invites us to explore the dystopian underbellies of food utopias. Whether they appeal to authenticity, peace, safety, equality, or plenty, food utopias inherently imply their physical, moral or aesthetic dystopian inverse: of industrial process, adulteration or contamination, distasteful palates, and of unshared bounty. In a cross-cultural parable about the difference between paradise and hell, people sit around a great pot of delicious food, holding spoons too long and large to feed themselves, only to be able to eat when they feed each other. Food-related responses to the industrial food complex, neoliberal globalization and militarization invoke the reciprocity and interconnectedness implied in this parable. The imaginary of un-alienated labor informs the marketing of otherwise industrially prepared foods. In the discourse of purity in extra virgin olive, of authenticity in heirloom fruits and vegetables, food imaginaries in film or literature, the spectacle of hospitality in tourism, or the practice of gift economies in social movements, actors highlight various stages of production, consumption and preparation. We hope to explore the following questions, among others: How are food utopias acquired or cultivated and manifested in daily life? What aspects of food production, exchange, or consumption do these practices and performances reify and make visible—and across which temporal, geographic and spatial boundaries?

The deadline for submissions on the conference web site is January 14th, 2015.

Send inquiries about the panel to Meltem Türköz (fmturkoz@gmail.com) or António Medeiros (antonio.medeiros@iscte.pt).

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Filed under anthropology, Call for Papers, food politics, food security, Food Studies

SAFN at AAA 2014 in DC

The annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association is nearly upon us. The conference program is huge and overwhelming, as usual. However, your trusted team at FoodAnthropology has found a way for those interested in food and nutrition to pare down the selections to what may be essential. You might, for instance, decide to only attend sessions that have been reviewed, sponsored, or invited by the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition. You could hardly go wrong doing that and, in case that is your desire, click here to see a list of those very sessions. You can review the sessions and the papers, although you must sign in as a registered participant to read the abstracts.

There are a few very important things to note.

SAFN will be holding its annual business meeting on Saturday, December 6, from 6:30-8:15. It will take place in Roosevelt Room 5 (Marriott Wardman Park) and includes presentations of the Christine Wilson Award recipients and the Thomas Marchione Food-as-a-Human-Right Award recipient. Instead of a distinguished lecture this year, we will have an open forum on the future of food and nutrition studies in anthropology…and a catered reception! All are welcome. This is your chance to get involved in the association. We need you.

SAFN is also the sponsor of a few invited sessions this year. These are especially worth noting, so here they are:

3-0265 CULTURING NUTRIENTS

Sponsored By: AAA Executive Program Committee and Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition

Thursday, December 4, 2014: 9:00 AM-10:45 AM

Organizers:  Line Hillersdal (Copenhagen University) and Tenna Jensen (University of Oxford/University of Copenhagen)

Chairs:  Tenna Jensen (University of Oxford/University of Copenhagen)

 

Food Allergy and Intolerance: Nutrition (re)Defined

Meghan Lee Cridland (Lund University)

 

Lemon Mousse for the Aging Body: Food Laboratories and the Making of Edible Solutions

Signe Dahl Skjoldborg (University of Copenhagen)

 

Food Security Among People with Disabilities in the U.S:  the Role of Cultural Attitudes in Creating Barriers to Healthy Eating

Elaine G Gerber (Montclair State University)

 

Fats: Cultivating Cooking Engaging with Nutrition

Rebeca Ibañez-Martin (CCHS-CSIC)

 

Eating Ad Libitum – Scientific Meal Tests in Practice

Line Hillersdal (Copenhagen University)

 

Calculation or Nourishment? the ‘others’ of Nutrients in Obesity Interventions

Else Vogel (University of Amsterdam)

 

Changing Constituents of Food: Perceptions of the Macronutrients in Western Science 1900-1945

Tenna Jensen (University of Oxford/University of Copenhagen)

 

3-0290 THEORIZING LOCAL FOOD: FROM ENVISIONING NEW REALITIES TO MORAL ECONOMY

 

Sponsored By: Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition and Culture and Agriculture

 

Thursday, December 4, 2014: 9:00 AM-10:45 AM

Organizers:  John Brett (University of Colorado Denver)

Chairs:  John Brett (University of Colorado Denver)

Discussants:  Lisa B Markowitz (University of Louisville)

 

Urban Agriculture: Meaning, Form and Dialectics

John Brett (University of Colorado Denver)

 

Morally Entitled Producers:  Farmers As Ambivalent and Ambiguous Heroes

Dorothy C Holland (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and Jennifer Walker (Poiesis Design and Planning)

 

Constructing Local: Situated Knowledge in a Local Food Economy

Rebecca Kathryn Blystone (University of Colorado Denver)

 

Anthropological Reflections on a Fast Food Learning Garden in Orlando, Florida

Ty S Matejowsky (University of Central Florida)

 

Discussant

Lisa B Markowitz (University of Louisville)

 

Local Food As Antidote to What Ails Us

Susan D Blum (University of Notre Dame)

 

From “Lost” to Local:  How Bolivian Quinoa Became “Good to Think” for North Atlantic Consumers

Clare Sammells (Bucknell University)

 

3-0940 RECONSIDERING VISUAL METHODS IN THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF CHILD FEEDING

Sponsored By: Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition and Society for Visual Anthropology

Thursday, December 4, 2014: 2:30 PM-4:15 PM

Organizers:  Chelsea Wentworth (University of Pittsburgh) and Lisa R Garibaldi (University of California, Riverside)

Chairs:  Chelsea Wentworth (University of Pittsburgh)

Discussants:  Carole M Counihan (Millersville University)

 

“Mai! Kana!” Negotiating children’s Preferences and caregiver’s Values and Constraints in Feeding Children

Lisa R Garibaldi (University of California, Riverside)

 

“Good” and “Bad” Food Revealed: Understanding Categorizations in Child Feeding Via Visual Methods

Chelsea Wentworth (University of Pittsburgh)

 

The Politics and Polemics of Feeding Children in Santiago De Cuba

Hanna Garth (University of California Los Angeles)

 

Responsive Feeding By Immigrant Bangladeshi Mothers in Melbourne, Australia: A Child Feeding Observation Study

Bithika Das (The University of Melbourne) and Cathy Vaughan (The University of Melbourne)

 

Children in Transition:  Photo Voice for Documenting Vulnerabilities in Food Security and Health Among Children Living in a Homeless Family Shelter in New York City

Preety Gadhoke (St. John’s University) and Barrett P Brenton (St. John’s University)

 

Discussant

Carole M Counihan (Millersville University)

 

4-0170 FOOD ACTIVISM IN EUROPE: NETWORKS, ALLIANCES, STRATEGIES

Sponsored By: Society for the Anthropology of Europe and Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition

Friday, December 5, 2014: 9:00 AM-10:45 AM

Organizers:  Carole M Counihan (Millersville University) and Valeria Siniscalchi (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales)

Chairs:  Valeria Siniscalchi (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) and Carole M Counihan (Millersville University)

 

Activism without Mobilizing Power? Food Practices and Social Trust in Postsocialist Bulgaria

Yuson Jung (Wayne State University)

 

Sewing the Social Net through Food Activism in Sardinia

Carole M Counihan (Millersville University)

 

“Inclusive Agriculture”: Creating and Sustaining Transversal Alliances Among Urban Gardeners in Lisbon, Portugal

Ana Isabel Neto Antunes Afonso (FCSH – Universidade Nova de Lisboa) and Krista Harper (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

 

The Crisis from below: The Food Distribution “Solidarity Economy” in Greece

Theodoros Rakopoulos (Human Economy Program, University of Pretoria)

 

Pastoral Products on the Vips Table: Anti-Politics, Entrepreneurialism, and the Commoditization of Social Struggle in Sardinia

Filippo M Zerilli (University of Cagliari) and Marco Pitzalis (University of Cagliari)

 

Coping with Ambiguity. Changing Strategies and Networks of Slow Food in Italy and Europe

Valeria Siniscalchi (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales)

 

Coalescing Struggles and Local Initiatives for Alternative Agri-Food Systems in Europe: From European farmers’ Unions Coordination to the “Nyéléni European Forum for Food Sovereignty”

Delphine Thivet (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales)

 

4-0325 LESS PALATABLE, STILL VALUABLE: TASTE, AGROBIODIVERSITY, AND CULINARY HERITAGE

Sponsored By: Society for the Anthropology of Food and the National Association of Student Anthropologists

Friday, December 5, 2014: 11:00 AM-12:45 PM

Organizers: Greg de St. Maurice (University of Pittsburgh and University of Pittsburgh) and Theresa L Miller (University of Oxford)

Chairs: Theresa L Miller (University of Oxford)

Discussants: Richard R Wilk (Indiana University)

 

Eating “monte”: Nutrition, Food Security and Taste in El Salvador

Melissa Fuster (New York University)

 

Sago: A Disparaged but Essential Food

Richard Scaglion (University of Pittsburgh)

 

The Bad and the Ugly: Less Delicious Yams and Varietal Diversity in the Canela Indigenous Society

Theresa L Miller (University of Oxford)

 

Millet Madness: Health in Heritage or Food to Leave in the Past?

Madeline A Chera (Indiana University)

 

Diet, Food Preferences, Food Access and Agrobiodiversity Among Smallholder Conventional and Permaculture Farmers in Central Malawi

Abigail E Conrad (American University)

 

Everything but the Taste: Celebrating Kyoto’s Shishigatani Squash As Culinary Heritage

Greg de St. Maurice (University of Pittsburgh)

 

Discussant

Richard R Wilk (Indiana University)

 

4-0395THE “HIDDEN INTELLIGENCE” OF KITCHENS: TECHNIQUES AND TRADITIONS OF MAKING MEALS

 

Sponsored By: Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition and Archaeology Division

Friday, December 5, 2014: 11:00 AM-12:45 PM

Organizers:  Chantel E. White (University of Notre Dame) and Sheena A Ketchum (University of Notre Dame)

Chairs:  Sheena A Ketchum (Indiana University) and Chantel E. White (University of Notre Dame)

Discussants:  Christine A Hastorf (University of California Berkeley)

 

Cooking up a Storm: A Reconsideration of Cooks and Kitchens in Prehistory

Chantel E. White (University of Notre Dame) and Sheena A Ketchum (Indiana University)

 

Puebloan Vessels for Puebloan Foods: Cooking and Serving at the Scott County Pueblo, Western Kansas

Margaret E Beck (University of Iowa) and Matthew E Hill Jr. (University of Iowa)

 

Where Are the Female Chefs? Reproducing and Challenging Gender Stereotypes in Lyon’s Professional Kitchens

Rachel E Black (Collegium de Lyon – ENS)

 

Boil, Roast or Bake? Examining Pluralistic Cooking Practices at a Spanish Mission in Alta California

Emily Dylla (University of Texas at Austin)

 

Brewing Beer in Mesopotamia: Technology, Technique, and Tradition

Tate Paulette (University of Chicago) and Michael Fisher (University of Chicago)

 

Local Garnishing: Chefs’ Discourse and Display of Local Foods in Restaurants

Zachary Schrank (Indiana University South Bend)

 

Discussant

Christine A Hastorf (University of California Berkeley)

 

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Filed under AAA 2014 Washington DC, anthropology, Christine Wilson, Food Studies, Thomas Marchione

ASFS Student Paper Awards

The Association for the Study of Food and Society announces its student paper award competition!

Deadline for Annual Submission: February 1. Electronic submissions ONLY!

The ASFS invites current undergraduate and graduate (single authors only) to submit a paper for the William Whit (undergraduate) and Alex McIntosh (graduate) prizes, respectively. These awards recognize students’ contributions to the field of food studies. There will be one award each for an undergraduate student paper and a graduate student paper. ASFS welcomes submissions on a wide range of issues relating to food, society and culture, and from the diverse disciplinary and trans-disciplinary fields that ASFS encompasses. The author of each award-winning paper will receive:

  • $500
  • payment of annual membership and conference fees to be applied to the following year if student is not attending in the current year
  • a free banquet ticket for the coming year’s annual meeting or the following year’s if a ticket has already been purchased or the student is not attending the conference in the current year; and
  • the opportunity to present prize-winning papers at an ASFS/AFHVS conference. Winners who wish to present the year they receive their award must have submitted a conference abstract in that same year.

For further details, please visit the ASFS web site (www.food-culture.org/asfs-student-paper-award/) for the award.

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Filed under anthropology, ASFS, awards, Food Studies, students

A Summary of Food Movements @Trent University

Prof and Student, Farm Manager and Project Coordinator tending the fields.

Prof and Student, Farm Manager and Project Coordinator tending the fields.

 

Helen McCarthy
Trent University

Student and faculty involvement in food issues at Trent University, in Peterborough, Ontario has been long standing, and there are many new exciting initiatives under development.

To begin, the Trent Vegetable Gardens for student research on campus were initiated by a number of students and faculty and they collaborate heavily with the campus vegetarian/vegan student run café, the Seasoned Spoon. These projects and enterprises are not-for–profit, student initiated, and have been running for about a decade.

More recently, the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Program was born. This is, a 4-year honours degree program with an Arts stream and a Science stream. This program is one for students to challenge and think about the dominant global food and agricultural systems that we are all embedded in.

35lbs of chilis harvested from the Experimental Farm, Purchased by Chartwells Sept. 2014

35lbs of chilis harvested from the Experimental Farm, Purchased by Chartwells Sept. 2014

This year, there have been many more projects in development that are proving to have a great potential to create positive change surrounding food services at Trent. These include a newly founded student organization, the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Society, a Trent Apiary, a Campus Food Sustainability Working Group, a new contract with Compass Group campus food service providers (Chartwells), and an undergoing campus Experimental Farm and Greenhouse project.

The SAFS Society is an inclusive student group that mandates to increase student engagement and community awareness in food and agricultural sustainability issues.

The Sustainability Working Group aims to be involved in all matters concerning sustainability in the expectations from Chartwells (Compass Group), specifically these include monitoring the progress of projects that aim to procure local food, reduce food waste, increase energy efficiency and follow up on goals surrounding food quality, affordability, diversity and special food needs (vegetarian/vegan, gluten/dairy intolerance, religious restrictions).

Trent Farm Table

Experimental Farm Table at first ever Campus Farmers Market (Chartwells organized)

The Experimental Farm is a very exciting enterprise that has become Chartwells Key Focus Initiative for 2015 at Trent. So far, the 33 acres Trent has allocated has grown 1/3rd of an acre of vegetables as part of a organic amendments research project; vegetables were sold to the Seasoned Spoon, local Restaurants, and to Chartwells, 1 acre of quinoa, and a research project on reducing inputs in common Ontario grain rotations. The expansion and breadth for the following season are being planned presently.

The KFI means that the new food services provider is committed to supporting Trent in creating an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable food production enterprise on campus that would directly provide marketable produce for Chartwells to purchase and use in campus meals as well as student engagement, and program collaboration. They have also committed to providing capital specifically to invest in a campus greenhouse.

These recent projects are what I personally find most exciting about food issues at Trent. I feel that there is potential for real, forthcoming and positive change; creating real awareness and community engagement around broader food and agriculture concerns.

Trent Bees!

Trent Bees!

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Filed under anthropology, farming, food activism, Food Studies, gardening, students, sustainability

CFP: Trusting the hand that feeds you

Conference of possible interest to readers of this blog:

The interdisciplinary research group Social & Cultural Food Studies (FOST) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel invites papers and panel proposals for its 2015 conference, Trusting the hand that feeds you. Understanding the historical evolution of trust in food, which will held in Brussels from 7 to 9 September 2015.

The conference will bring an historical perspective to the study of consumer anxieties about food. Paper proposals are due on December 15, 2014.  For more details, visit the conference web site.

 

 

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Filed under anthropology, CFP, food policy, food politics, Food Studies, history

The New Southern Food and Beverage Museum

SOFAB sign

David Beriss
University of New Orleans

Do you live somewhere with a cuisine of its own? How would you know? There have been some famous attempts to define cuisine, including one by Sidney Mintz that has generated a great deal of debate. I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that a cuisine requires some kind of self conscious effort by people within a community to declare that their food should be thought of as a cuisine. Who gets to make that claim, what makes the claim legitimate, whether or not it might be disputed…I recognize that there are many questions that could be raised about this definition. But at least for my current purpose, the definition will work because it allows me to suggest that those of us who live in the American South have a cuisine. How do we know?

We have a museum dedicated to proving it.

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is an actual free-standing cultural institution devoted to documenting the foodways of the American South. I have visited some fascinating, fun, and sometimes odd exhibits and museums devoted to food over the years. These include the Maison Cailler Chocolate Factory in Switzerland (and Hershey, PA as a kid), a mustard museum in Dijon, a beer museum in Prague, a flour museum in Minneapolis, many brewery and winery tours, visits to cheese makers (Roquefort Société puts on a good show), and of course the Coca Cola museum. Fascinating and entertaining as these can be, most are really advertisements for a particular company and its products, often with an excellent opportunity for sampling at the end of the tour. The Mill City museum is an exception. Run by the Minnesota Historical Society, it is built in the ruins of a flour mill on the banks of the Mississippi and really does make an effort to put the history of flour into a social context. But it, like nearly all the others, is still devoted to only one product. This is not where you go to learn about the food of a region or country.

As an effort to document and display the foods and foodways of the American South, SoFAB (yes, that is the acronym) joins a surprisingly robust range of other institutions around the region devoted to similar objectives. The Southern Foodways Alliance, which is part of the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture, for example, or food studies as part of a larger program in American Studies at the University of North Carolina, contribute to the idea of distinctively southern culture and foodways.

SoFAB started out as the vision of one woman, Elizabeth Williams, who began work on the idea well over a decade ago. Starting in improvised spaces, she recruited people to build exhibits, participate in conferences, and organize events over the years, eventually landing a space in the Riverwalk shopping mall in New Orleans. I should probably reveal at this point that I am one of the people she recruited and am thus no impartial observer, having enthusiastically participated in a wide range of events at the museum. Liz has worked hard to build an institution that has ties to an immense network of people involved in food studies (including scholars from all over the world), but also to people in the food industry and activists of all sorts.

The museum has a new home, where it may become even more of a cultural juggernaut in the South and beyond. Last week I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new museum, which is now housed in a substantially renovated former market building in a neighborhood of New Orleans that is, as we say, “coming back.” The new site is quite a bit larger and will house permanent and temporary exhibits, a restaurant devoted to the region’s foods, the Museum of the American Cocktail (yes, that has been part of SoFAB all along), and an ongoing series of lectures, cooking demonstrations, conferences, and other events. SoFAB is also home to a substantial research library that is already a very useful resource for scholars interested in the study of food.

The new museum is a big deal here in New Orleans. The ribbon cutting was standing room only, with a surprisingly large media scrum and celebrities from all parts of New Orleans life in attendance. These included chefs and restaurateurs, musicians, scholars, neighborhood activists, and a large number of elected officials (or their representatives) from the state and the city. The museum’s new location contributes to the renovation of a neighborhood that has seen better days and is part of other development in the area, including the future home of the New Orleans Jazz Market (a performance space organized by musician and cultural activist Irvin Mayfield) and other restaurants (including Café Reconcile, a restaurant and institute devoted to training “at risk” young people for the restaurant industry). All of this is part of the ongoing effort to develop New Orleans “cultural economy” by the city and state, turning culture into an economic asset.

Which leads me back to the original question: how would you know if you have a cuisine? I don’t think having good or interesting food is enough. All food is interesting, at least for anthropologists. Not only that, but every society has its own foodways. To make those foodways a cuisine, people need to be interested and passionate about it. They have to be self-conscious about it. Above all, they must want to call it a cuisine. Here, in the American South and, especially, in New Orleans. we have all that. We have a museum to prove it.

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Filed under anthropology, cuisine, culture, foodways, museums, New Orleans, south

2014 Christine Wilson Student Paper Award

Christine Wilson Award

Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition
2014 Christine Wilson Student Paper Award

DEADLINE OCT 31st

The Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition (SAFN) is pleased to invite students to submit papers in competition for the 2014 Christine Wilson Awards presented to outstanding undergraduate and graduate student research papers that examine topics within the perspectives in nutrition, food studies and anthropology.

Papers may report on research undertaken in whole or in part by the author. Co –authored work is acceptable, provided that submitting student is first author. Papers must have as their primary focus an anthropological approach to the study of food and/or nutrition and must present original, empirical research; literature reviews are not eligible. Papers that propose a new conceptual framework or outline novel research designs or methodological approaches are especially welcome. Winners will be recognized and presented with an award at the 2014 AAA meeting in Washington, DC and receive a year’s membership in SAFN.

Students (undergraduate or graduate) must be currently enrolled or enrolled during in the past academic year (Fall 2013 to present). The text of papers should be no longer than 25 pages, double-spaced and follow AAA style guidelines.  For application details please click on the link above or go here.

Deadline: October 31, 2014

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Filed under anthropology