Tag Archives: Anthropology

Food and Work in the Americas

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Sent to us by Steve Striffler (Anthropology, University of New Orleans):

Food and Work in the Americas, a special issue of Labor: Studies in Working-Class History in the Americas, edited by Susan Levine and Steve Striffler, Volume 12 Nos. 1-2  May 2015

From the introduction:

Food studies is now a large and important field of research for scholars, journalists, activists, and others who have become increasingly interested in the history, culture, and politics of food. A sizable literature has emerged in the last two decades, largely from social scientists, which explores food from a multiplicity of angles, including foodways and identity, agricultural policy, the industrialization of food, nutrition, the body, commodity chains, alternative food systems, and globalization. Interestingly, however, very little of this recent work has taken a historical look at food and agriculture as sites of work. Workers remain marginalized in general, and historical treatments of labor and workplaces are even less common.

Labor historians, by contrast, have long considered food-related work sites. Classic studies of meatpacking occupy a central place within broader discussions of industrialization. An even larger literature has explored the variety of work and workers on farms, plantations, ranches, and haciendas throughout the Americas, shaping how we understand agrarian life and capitalist transitions. More recently, labor historians and others have moved further from agricultural production, beyond the farm or processing plant and into (food-related) domestic and service sector work sites. Yet, for the most part, these studies do not engage with food itself, in a broader sense, as a critical element in class, gender, ethnic, or racial life.

Our aim in this special issue of Labor is to challenge labor historians to think about food and work in ways that not only include the production of food itself, but the production and reproduction of working class life. We are interested in the work of food, its central location within the broader fabric of working class life, and the relationship between the two, but also in the connections between the production of food, the reproduction of working people, and the very nature and trajectory of capitalism itself.

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Filed under anthropology, food policy, Food Studies, history, labor, work

Raising the Bar for Introductory Classes: Susan Rodgers on Challenging and Changing Students through “Food, Body, Power”

Lauren Moore
University of Kentucky

Welcome to the inaugural interview of SAFN’s new Food Pedagogy Interview Series. Each month, we will feature a food scholar who teaches a course related to food or nutrition. They will share tips, tricks, and cautionary tales from their classrooms. If you would like to participate, or would like to nominate an excellent instructor for the interview series, please email LaurenRMoore@uky.edu.

2015 kicks off with an interview with Susan Rodgers, Professor of Anthropology at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Rodgers was the 2013 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching/CASE Massachusetts Professor of the Year. Though Rodgers’ own work focuses on the politics of art and literature in Indonesia, she has developed a challenging and provocative food class for first and second year students at her college. She speaks here about the course, successful components and cautionary tales, and why anthropologists should have high expectations for introductory classes.

SAFN members can access the syllabus Dr. Rodgers discusses here through the SNAC 4 resource page.

Lauren R. Moore: Can you tell me a little about how this course got started?

Susan Rodgers:  First of all, I’m not an anthropologist of food. My work and publications are on very different things. I’ve worked with the Angkola Batak people of Indonesia since the mid 1970s on issues of the politics of print literature, and minority arts in Indonesia in general.

I came to Holy Cross to help the school set up a new anthropology program in 1989, after teaching at Ohio University for 11 years. About 7 years ago, the college made me the Garrity Chair, which is a rotating, endowed professorship [during which] you have to design a brand-new course that speaks to issues that the Garrity family was interested in—social justice issues, basically, and fine liberal arts teaching with challenging texts. At the time, I was using a lot of Paul Farmer’s work in a freshman seminar. I was really impressed by how well Paul Farmer’s work teaches to first and second year students, so I decided to create this Food, Body, Power course. It’s an anthro of food course, but undergirded very explicitly with Paul Farmer’s understanding of the structural violence of poverty.

I ask students to read Farmer pretty seriously and then see if his understanding of structural violence can be applied to issues of food insecurity both domestically and worldwide. He himself hasn’t done that yet to any extent. But I imported the theory from Paul Farmer, and based the course around that. So that’s the origin of Food, Body, Power. I had taught a more broad-based Anthro of Food course for several years before this, but Food, Body, Power is an offshoot.

LRM:  One of the things that drew me to this syllabus in the SAFN materials was how you’re really tackling complex topics and serious readings in a 100-level class. Does the institutional context at Holy Cross relate to the kind of syllabus you’ve created?

SR: Holy Cross very much makes it possible. Holy Cross is a small, highly selective, liberal arts college. We’re like Vassar and Bates and Williams and Amherst…that range. We do get, in general, very, very good students who expect to work hard. So it doesn’t shake them up when they see, for instance, 5 monographs and a whole bunch of journal articles in an Anthro 101 syllabus. That’s kind of the Holy Cross thing.

But, maybe because of my 11 years teaching at Ohio University, I feel that at almost any four-year institution, we can take our first and second year students very seriously, and pitch a course like this to them. I think they rise to the occasion.

You know, in philosophy, the professors are asking their first year students to read very tough material. They don’t flinch from that. When students take a chemistry course, they’re asked to do some pretty challenging thought-work. So, I feel that this has some translatability.

The difference, if I was teaching back at OU, is the size of a class. Here, our 100-level courses are either capped at 25 or at 19. And of course you can ask the students to write a lot more if you’ve got a class of that size versus teaching to 50 or 75 students or even more. The professor could die grading papers. This is a pretty writing intensive course, as most of mine tend to be. If I was teaching it to a larger class—above 25—I would have to scale down the amount of writing that students do. But some aspects of the current version I think would work really well at any institution.

LRM: Weeks 12 through 14, I see they’re doing group presentations. Can you tell me about those?

I always like to have students do teamwork as they go through the course. First of all, there’s four weeks of a condensed anthro of food course at the beginning. They read many chapters from C. Counihan and P. Van Esterik’s Food and Culture anthology. Then they read Paul Farmer, and then Sidney Mintz’s Sweetness and Power, and Psyche Williams-Forson’s Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs. So, they’ve already done some pretty heavy-duty things. Then, we have a section where I ask them to apply what they’ve learned, à la structural violence and so on, to issues of famine. All the way through the course they’ve been divided into 5-person teams. I have little assignments that they’ll do. After they’ve done all of that, writing essays and essay tests all along, I have those teams really do something, in terms of producing knowledge for the whole class.

They have to meet, pick a serious food insecurity issue from outside the United States, research it together, and then put together a 25-minute lecture on their selected issue. For instance, child stunting in India: what causes it? After they’ve done that lecture, they take that same critical lens and work together in their teams to identify, address, and lecture again on a food insecurity issue in Massachusetts that also has relevance for Worcester. And that’s at the end of the course.

And that, I think, could be translated to almost any institution, because students just thrive when they’re asked to do teamwork…but not just to do it, but to actually lecture in the class. One thing that makes this helpful is our reference librarian, who runs a 50-minute class for us in the computer-assisted classroom about how to find sources. So, I know they’re armed with the ability to find good sources. As a follow up to these lectures, each student picks a paper topic that has been generated by their team reports, and then they (individually) write a 7-page paper on that.

LRM: Can you give an example of a memorable project?

SR: For some reason, one whole class was fascinated with South Sudan. One of the teams did a really good job looking at basic infrastructure problems in the country, like transferring food from one city to another. That team had a couple of economics majors, and they were able to bring their expertise to the class lecture, which was trying to explain why food insecurity is so dire in Sudan. From our readings, they were already alerted to the problem of how warfare violence can lead to famine, so they brought that in.

LRM: Do they also get excited about the local topics?

SR: One thing I’ve done is ask the Executive Director of the Worcester County Food Bank to come to class and lecture about food insecurity in Worcester County. South Worcester, right down our hill, is one of the most seriously impoverished parts of Worcester. I mentioned it might be something they could look at. That sparked their interest.

One small group last spring did such a good job! They decided to see how food, in a very generic sense, was portrayed in two quite contrastive high schools. One was in a fairly impoverished part of Worcester, and they also picked the public high school in Weston, MA—do you know about Weston?—it’s so prosperous. It’s one of the most over-the-top wealthy parts of Massachusetts. They did it as an experiment. They wanted to see what the school websites told us about food.

In the Weston public high school, oh my goodness. They had a cafeteria that was basically like an organic cafe. It would provide all these different, extremely interesting, sometimes even literally organic meals; very internationalized, sophisticated cuisine; guides for parents as to how to encourage their sons and daughters to eat healthful food and everything. It was a very elaborate, upper middle class take on healthy food and why it’s good for us.

Then, the students were able to contrast that with the almost blank information about food—and relatively little outreach to the parents—in the particular public high school in Worcester. They were also able to follow the weekly menus and look at the tater tots versus the kale salads and so on in the two contrastive high schools. That was really eye opening for the class, I think. We could discuss issues of class privilege and worldview and class-shaped “taste,” in the Q and A part of the students’ lecture.

LRMHave you had things that haven’t gone as well, that you’ve elected not to do again? Do you have any cautionary tales that have come out of this course?

SR: There is one cautionary tale I could pull from my experience. When I taught the old version of this course, the more generic Anthropology of Food course, I took one class period (of a 3 days/week class), and met outside the classroom, and together we walked down the hill into south Worcester. I asked them to walk around this little strip mall, with a Wendy’s hamburger joint, a cigar shop that has a few vegetables and a lot of snack foods, and a very cheap Chinese restaurant. I asked students to walk around for 40 minutes with a field notebook, and observe the food scene. The next class period, two days later, we talked about it.

That kind of fell flat because the students really needed more background on Worcester before that would make sense to them. I think in theory it was a great exercise, but we just can’t assume that they really know much about the local community in terms of SES and class and history.

It’s very important, if you’re going to understand the food scene down at the bottom of our hill, you’ve got to understand the history of the Irish American immigration to that very spot, and the movement of the Irish Americans out to the suburbs, and the ethnic composition and poverty issues now in that area. I hadn’t told them much about that. If I were to bring that back, I would really nest it within a couple lectures—and maybe students’ own web investigations—on Worcester and social class.

LRM: That’s a good point. One of the things I’ve found when talking about food with students, it can easily devolve into class-based stereotypes or normative judgments. I wonder if that’s something you face or if you have any strategies for overcoming it?

SR: I think probably anybody who teaches almost any topic in anthropology encounters this. One of the ways I deal with this is with the readings during the first four weeks of class. For example, this article makes such a hit. It’s really tough, and as the teacher you really have to walk through it point by point, but Alice Julier’s wonderful article, “The Political Economy of Obesity: The Fat Pay All,” really makes students think about their own social class positionality.

What Julier ends up saying is that obesity works for the elite in America. It provides us a population of workers who the upper-middle class can look down on, make fun of, and underpay. Obesity also works in a sense of blaming and shaming people who aren’t at fault for their problems of overweight. They should be dealt with as people who are being victimized by the social structure, but the way pop culture works is that we can’t see those social structure dimensions, and we look at the personal and think it’s psychological.

Julier sets all that out, and then I take a whole 50-minute period to discuss that one article after the students have read it carefully with reader’s guides—I always give them a reader’s guide. Then, we can talk about social class, and food overabundance, and body and power. Certain of the articles I use in the first four weeks, introducing the topic of anthro of food, can serve that purpose of making the students aware of social class dimensions to food production and consumption, and then they carry that through the whole course.

LRM: You said you give reader’s guides. Can you tell me a little bit about those?

SR: I’ve found that students need a little guidance before they plunge into a tough article or book. It makes them more serious readers if they have a list of say, 5 dimensions of a chapter to look at beforehand. So, using Julier’s article, it would be something like “What does Julier want us to understand about how social class operates in America?” I don’t want to overdetermine what they look at. Not simply asking them to summarize an aspect of a text, but having a question that kind of comes at them a little bit at a slant, that the author himself or herself would be able to answer.

A lot of my colleagues in this department have found that, if you give the students a reader’s guide before they dive into reading an assignment, it makes for much better class discussion. Also, they sort of need it. When I was in college, I don’t think any of my professors gave me a reader’s guide, but I find that students appreciate some guidance from the professor. They need a bit of help, kind of a map. You really want to ask them provocative questions that are kind of fun to think about, so there’s a technique to writing reader’s guides.

LRM: It sounds like reader’s guides are something you do in a lot of your classes. I wonder if there’s anything you do when teaching a food-related course that differs from the way that you approach other, non-food courses?

SR: One thing I probably do more in my food course than I do in my other range of 100- and 200-level courses that seems to work well, is when there’s a really interesting article in the morning New York Times or in the Washington Post or any serious newspaper, I’ll pull off a copy. And I’ll actually make a photocopy of it for every student in the class. I pick out really well-written current stories related to the topic of that day’s lecture, and I’ll actually ask them to take 10 minutes in class and sit there and read it silently to themselves, and then relate it to the chapter or the article that we’re dealing with on the syllabus that day. That seems to really interest them a lot. Then they go out and begin to be more serious newspaper readers themselves, which is an important lesson.

There’s another thing that’s distinctive to Food, Body, Power that works really well in the food class: autobiographical reflections. When I teach Anne Allison‘s wonderful “Japanese Mothers and Obentos: The Lunch-Box as Ideological State Apparatus,” after I make sure they understand what her argument is, we relate it to the their memories of the way their family prepared lunches for them at age 5 or 6. Everybody scribbles notes, and we describe it, then we do Anne Allison’s analysis and look for the structural message underneath.

One thing that all of us, including me, say is that our parents would prepare our wonderful, nutritionally balanced meal, send us off to 1st grade, and then we’d trade things… a tuna fish salad sandwich for something yummier, for example. Once we all admit we traded away our nutritious lunch, we ask: what does that really tell you about American culture? Then they discover, well, individual choice is really valorized, standing up to authority is valorized. You can do more of that biographical work in a food course than some others.

LRM: This is a writing intensive course. Could you tell me a little bit about the writing assignments?

SR: This has four 5-page response essays. They’re not research papers… the somewhat longer essay they write at the end is more of a research exercise, but the 5-page response essays are directed to the syllabus readings. It’s to make sure that they not only understand a set of articles, but have a critical perspective on it. The best way to demonstrate that is writing. Often I’ll ask them to pair two of the articles, and what they’re doing in an exercise like that is not only showing me that they’ve read those articles in really tremendous depth–real depth of understanding—but also synthesizing it into something that’s distinctly their own. I want them to take on the voice of an anthropologist.

Another thing with having regularly spaced essays: it means that they’re really keeping up with the readings. It takes a whole lot of grading time. With 25 students, all these essays, and in-class essay exams, it’s a lot of grading. But I find it eliminates the problem of a students showing up to class and not having read. If it means more grading time for me, that’s okay, because I really want them to keep up with the syllabus and to read these texts with some seriousness.

One of the goals of college education is to become a better, more precise, and maybe more creative writer. I tell them this quite explicitly before they write their first essay: I’m really interested in excellent writing, and I’m happy to work on drafts in my office hours and help students become a better writer. So that’s undergirding everything.

LRM: Do you have any final thoughts or suggestions for other teachers?

SR: I would say they should not underestimate their students. Even for first and second year students, you can have a complex syllabus.

Paul Farmer does work very well as a theoretical framework that catches younger students’ attention. A cautionary note, though: students tend to rapidly fall in love with Paul Farmer’s work overmuch, and you have to help them draw back a little bit and be a little critical of his ethically engaged anthropology – what Nancy Scheper-Hughes calls “anthropology with its feet on the ground,” – and with Farmer’s notion of structural violence and his hopefulness about structural change. Students glom onto that and want to run with it, so you have to incorporate some critiques.

Students, they’re college students. They’re serious adults. I think our syllabi should challenge them at that level. Often they can rise to the occasion. But you’ve got to have structures in place to make sure you don’t lose a student along the way. Make sure students who don’t understand the readings come to office hours, that sort of thing. Very time intensive, all these nice things I’m saying!

You want to make sure that once they’ve taken the course, and back they go to their normal life, they never think about food in a simple way ever again. Hopefully they’ll keep that anthropological vision of the social complexity of food. With the power element of my syllabus, I hope they think of issues of social class and social inequality, which they’re going to confront when they’re 30 years old and reading the newspaper, or maybe being a boss in a corporation and hopefully being attentive to adequate salaries for their workers.

The anthropology of food… It seems like such a fun topic. It lures them in. Then you hit them with this heavy-duty economic anthropology and political anthropology, and really pretty sophisticated theory, which they begin to like. And then, hopefully, they’ll use it in their other classes, and in their larger life.

I want to really change their vision of the world, maybe more in this course than in any other course of mine. In this course, I’m not worried if these students never take another anthro course. This is not only for anthro majors. You get students into it by the title, and it could be their one anthropology course. It has allowed the student to talk as a group and reconfigure their understanding of food and body and power. That’s an impact. That’s kind of a public anthropology impact on citizenship, I think.

LRM: Thank you so much for you time, and for inaugurating the SAFN food pedagogy interview series!

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Filed under anthropology, Food Studies, pedagogy, teaching

Call for Papers! SAFN at AAA 2015, Denver.

Your opportunity to present at the

114th American Anthropological Association annual meeting in Denver, CO November 18-22, 2015

REMINDER! REMINDER! REMINDER!

SAFN seeks proposals for Invited Sessions, Volunteered Papers, Posters, & Sessions, and alternative session formats (including Roundtables and Installations)

  The Deadline for EXECUTIVE SESSION Submission is 5 PM EST, TUESDAY FEBRUARY 17th

The Deadline for ALL OTHER Submissions is 5 PM EST, WEDNESDAY APRIL 15th

 THE THEME of this year’s conference is “Familiar/Strange. Casting common sense in new light by making the familiar seem strange and the strange seem familiar is a venerable strategy used across anthropology’s subfields. It can denaturalize taken-for-granted frames and expand the horizons of students and public alike. But useful as this process of estrangement and familiarization can be, it can lapse into exoticism through “us/them” comparisons that veil historical and contemporary relations of power and powerlessness within and across societies, begging the question of the normative templates (of the “West,” of “whiteness”) that lurk behind.

Remember that to upload abstracts and to participate in the meeting you must be an active AAA member who has paid the 2015 meeting registration fee – click here for information about exceptions. When renewing your AAA membership, please remember to select SAFN as your section affiliation. Your support helps to fund section activities and our growing portfolio of awards that support graduate student research and writing, and the promotion of food as a human right.

If you’d like to discuss your ideas for sessions, papers, posters, roundtable discussions, forums, or installations feel free to contact SAFN Program Chairs, Arianna Huhn (arihuhn@gmail.com) and Joan Gross (jgross@oregonstate.edu).

More information about submission types and presenter roles and responsibilities is available on the AAA website. A summary is provided below:

* Submit SESSIONS & ROUNDTABLES to SAFN for INVITED STATUS designation

We will select several sessions / roundtables submitted for review by SAFN for designation as INVITED. These are generally cutting-edge, directly related to the meeting theme, or cross sub-disciplinary. SESSION proposals should include a session abstract of no more than 500 words, keywords, anticipated attendance, as well as the names and roles of each presenter. Individual presenters must also submit their own abstracts (250 words), paper title and keywords via the AAA meeting website. ROUNDTABLES are a format to discuss critical social issues affecting anthropology. No papers are presented in this format. The organizer will submit an abstract for the roundtable but participants will not present papers or submit abstracts. A roundtable presenter is a major role, having the same weight as a paper presentation.

** PLEASE NOTE, one way to increase your and our presence at the meetings is to have co-sponsored invited sessions between SAFN and another society. Invited time is shared with the other sub-discipline, and the session is double-indexed. When prompted during the submission process, please select additional AAA sections for review if you think that we should be in contact with them about possible co-sponsorship.

* Submit your INDIVIDUALLY VOLUNTEERED PAPERS AND POSTERS to SAFN

For evaluation purposes, the author of each individually volunteered paper and poster must select one section for the review process. Selecting SAFN will funnel your proposal to us. A paper or poster abstract of up to 250 words is required. Accepted volunteered papers and posters will be grouped into sessions around a common topic or theme.

* Submit INSTALLATIONS to SAFN

INSTALLATIONS invite anthropological knowledge off the beaten path of the written conference paper. Presenters may propose performances, recitals, conversations, author-meets-critic roundtables, salon reading workshops, oral history recording sessions and other alternative, creative forms of intellectual expression for consideration.

Also consider:

NEW! RETROSPECTIVE SESSIONS are intended to highlight career contributions of established leading scholars (for example, on the occasion of their retirement or significant anniversary). A session abstract of up to 500 words is required.

PUBLIC POLICY FORUMS provide a place to discuss critical social issues affecting anthropology, public policy issues of interest to anthropologists, and public policy issues that could benefit from anthropological knowledge or expertise. The ideal format includes a moderator and no more than seven panelists. Generally, each public policy forum is scheduled for 105 minutes. Refer your proposal to the AAA Committee on Public Policy for review, not a section.

MEDIA SUBMISSIONS are juried by the Society for Visual Anthropology. SVA continues to welcome interactive media work and also encourages short work that is under 15 minutes. For more information see the Society for Visual Anthropology’s website at www.societyforvisualanthropology.org.

We look forward to another exciting annual meeting with strong SAFN participation! – Arianna & Joan

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Filed under AAA, AAA 2015 Denver, anthropology, CFP, food, nutrition

CFP: 2015 UVM Food Systems Summit

Call for Presentations
2015 UVM Food Systems Summit
The Right to Food: Power, Policy, and Politics in the 21st Century
June 16-17, 2015 | Burlington, VT

The University of Vermont (UVM) Food Systems Summit is an annual event drawing scholars, practitioners, and food systems leaders to engage in dialogue on the pressing food systems issues facing our world. This year, UVM is partnering with Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems to increase collaboration from the law and policy community. By doing so, we seek to foster transdisciplinary scholarship and cross-professional partnerships in order to further humanity’s efforts to feed itself and steward natural resources.

The 2015 Summit will feature up to 9 competitively selected presentations on the theme “The Right to Food: Power, Policy, and Politics in the 21st Century.” Anyone with a scholarly or professional expertise in food systems is invited to submit a proposal. Presentations will be selected through a peer-review process and assigned to a panel by topic (3 presentations per panel).

The panel sessions will allow time for a 15 minute presentation from each panelist, as well as Q&A and engaged dialogue with the audience. The Summit will also include 3 invited keynote addresses from food systems leaders. Unlike traditional academic conferences, the Summit is designed to optimize engagement between scholars across disciplines and practitioners outside of academia. As such, the Summit is open to the public and we welcome participation from nonprofits, farmers, food business, government, and interested community members.

Themes: The overarching theme for the 2015 Summit is “The Right to Food: Power, Policy, and Politics in the 21st Century.” With this theme, we ask, what actions are needed to ensure that all people have access to adequate and nutritious food?

Presentations related to a variety of interpretations of this theme will be considered and assigned to a panel on one of the three following categories:

  • Biophysical Constraints: This theme is about land use, water use, and other environmental considerations of agricultural production. Do we have the agricultural capacity to produce enough food to feed our growing global population? Do we have the policies and laws in place to meet demand? How are ecological limits affecting the ability of different regions to produce their own food? What technology and scientific advances are available to support agricultural production? What are alternatives to just increased agricultural capacity to reach the goal of feeding humanity?
  • Geopolitical Context: This theme is about power in the food system, and food sovereignty from a local and global perspective. What role do governments and institutions play in guaranteeing or providing food? How does current trade policy affect the ability of communities to meet their food needs? How does the economy influence who does or does not have access to food? How much individual agency should one have over one’s food? How do international policy and legal decisions impact the growing, distribution, availability and access of food to everyone?
  • Behavioral and Cultural Considerations: This theme is about how biological and social factors affect what and how we eat. What individual and social circumstances determine a person’s relationship with food? How do laws and policies aid or detract from helping society determine best practices for the individual and common good? How do diet and consumer demand drive food production and distribution systems? How might behavior change be leveraged to shift production and consumption patterns?

Potential presentation topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Land access and tenure
  • National policy initiatives
  • Water rights
  • Food assistance programs
  • Agricultural subsidies/anti-subsidy policies
  • Intellectual property
  • International trade agreements
  • Domestic trade policy
  • Gender
  • International human rights covenants
  • Nutrition
  • Culinary traditions
  • Climate change
  • Food justice
  • Public health
  • Measuring food security
  • Biotechnology

Submission process: Individuals wishing to submit a proposal should submit a proposal to food.systems@uvm.edu by January 15, 2015. The proposal (MS Word or PDF) should contain the following information:

Title of presentation
Name, address, e-mail, phone number, and affiliation of presenter or primary contact
4-6 keywords
Presentation description (1500 words maximum; title and any references cited are in addition to this word limit)

Proposals that do not comply with these guidelines will not be reviewed. Electronic acknowledgments of submissions will be sent to all submitters.

Review process: Proposals will be reviewed by the Summit Proposal Review Committee, comprised of UVM and Vermont Law School faculty and affiliates.

Proposals will be considered in terms of their significance to the field, strength of methodology/design (if research) or argument (if commentary), and clarity of writing. Special consideration will be given to proposals on scholarship or projects that are working across academic disciplines and/or across different sectors of the food system, as well as to proposals by practitioners working outside of academia. Individuals will be notified of the status of their proposal by March 1, 2015.

Accepted presenters will receive complimentary registration to the Summit. Scholarships are available on a case-by-case basis to presenters who need financial support for travel and lodging in order to participate.

Contact Alison Nihart for more information on the UVM Food Systems Summit.

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Filed under anthropology, Call for Papers, Food Studies, food systems

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

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

IEHCA Conference on Food History and Food Studies in Tours!

26-27 March 2015 – Tours (France)

The European Institute for the History and Cultures of Food (the IEHCA, Institut Européen d’Histoire et des Cultures de l’Alimentation) is organising its first International Conference to be held on Thursday 26 and Friday 27 March 2015 in Tours (France).

This is the first event of its kind and aims to become an annual gathering within the scope of a continuation of the IEHCA’s work over the last twelve years, carried out through its publications (Food & History, “Table des Hommes” collection), its support for research (organisation of conferences; awards for young researchers) and its facilitation of networking opportunities among Food Studies researchers (Yearly Summer School…).

The intention is that the symposium will bring together specialists from all over the world. No specific theme as been fixed for this first occasion; all proposals under the broad heading of Food Studies will be considered. In essence, it will be a multi- and cross-disciplinary event covering all historical periods.

All researchers are welcome (doctoral, post-doctoral, research lecturers, independent researchers, etc.).

Two types of submission, with free choice of subject, will be accepted:

Individual submissions, that should include:

  • the name(s) of the speaker/speakers
  • their institution(s) if applicable
  • the title of their paper
  • contact details
  • a 250-word abstract

Submissions for “panel” sessions on a given theme.

  • For each participant, the same information is required as for individual submissions.

Submissions will be reviewed and selected by the IEHCA’s academic committee.

Papers must not exceed 20 minutes in length and can be presented in English or French.

The Institute would be grateful if you could circulate this invitation to those who might be interested.

The closing date for sending submissions is the 15 December 2014.

Every complete submission will receive a reply within 10 days, irrespective of whether it is sent before or on the closing date.

They should be sent, as well as any questions, to Loïc Bienassis (loic.bienassis@iehca.eu).

Please note that conference participants’ expenses cannot be covered in whole or in part by the IEHCA.

Appel à communications et à sessions

Première Conférence Internationale d’Histoire et des Cultures de l’Alimentation

26-27 mars 2015 – Tours (France)

L’Institut Européen d’Histoire et des Cultures de l’Alimentation (IEHCA) organisera les jeudi 26 et vendredi 27 mars 2015 à Tours (France) sa première Conférence Internationale.

Cette manifestation, destinée à devenir un rendez-vous annuel, s’inscrit dans le prolongement des actions que mène l’IEHCA depuis douze ans à travers sa politique éditoriale (Food & History, collection Tables des Hommes), son soutien à la recherche (organisation de colloques ; aides aux jeunes chercheurs) et son travail de mise en réseau des chercheurs en Food Studies(Université d’Eté…).

Cette conférence aura l’ambition d’accueillir des spécialistes du monde entier. Aucun thème spécifique n’a été retenu pour cette première édition ; toutes les propositions relevant des Food Studies seront examinées : ce symposium est par essence pluri- et transdisciplinaire et couvrira l’ensemble des périodes historiques.

Tous les chercheurs sont les bienvenus (doctorants, post-doctorants, enseignants-chercheurs, chercheurs indépendants…)

Deux types de candidatures, portant sur un sujet libre, pourront être soumis :

Des candidatures individuelles, qui comporteront:

  • le nom du ou des communicants,
  • leur(s) éventuelle(s) institution(s) de rattachement,
  • le titre de leur intervention
  • leurs coordonnées
  • un résumé de 250 mots

Des candidatures par session portant sur l’organisation d’un « panel » autour d’un thème donné.

  • Pour chaque intervenant, devront figurer les mêmes informations que celles requises pour les candidatures individuelles.

Les candidatures seront examinées et sélectionnées par le comité scientifique de l’IEHCA.

Les communications ne devront pas excéder 20 minutes ; elles pourront être présentées en anglais ou en français.

N’hésitez pas à faire circuler cet appel autour de vous.

La date limite d’envoi des candidatures est fixée au 15 décembre 2014.

Les candidatures complètes recevront une réponse sous dix jours quelle que soit la date d’envoi.

Elles sont à adresser, ainsi que vos questions, à Loïc Bienassis.

Notez qu’aucun défraiement n’est prévu pour les participants à la conférence.

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Filed under anthropology, CFP, Food Studies