Tag Archives: Caribbean

Foodways and Urban Change in Latin America and the Caribbean: AAA 2013 Panel!

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by Aeleka Schortman and Amy Lasater-Wille

Please consider submitting paper abstracts for our proposed panel on Foodways and Urban Change in Latin America and the Caribbean (see full panel description below). While we focus on urbanism, we encourage the submission of research based in rural or urban areas, so long as it speaks to issues of urban change, planning, development, and the like in Latin America or the Caribbean.

We further encourage non-anthropologists and applied researchers with similar interests to submit, especially as this year’s AAA meeting theme is “Future Publics, Current Engagements.”  This theme encourages us as anthropologists to engage with scholars in related disciplines as well as with issues of pressing social, political, and economic significance.

Working Title: Foodways and Urban Change in Latin America and the Caribbean

Panel Abstract:

This panel addresses food and foodways in Latin America—here, including the Caribbean—to understand the processes, practices, and politics of urbanization and urban change in that region. Exemplifying worldwide trends, Latin America is growing increasingly urban, a transformation frequently associated with: land and resource consolidation, deepening inequalities, mounting security concerns, and growing involvement in—and dependency upon—globalized, industrialized, and inequitable agro-food systems. Today, historically unprecedented numbers of people, and city-dwellers, in particular, draw needed sustenance from novel and rapidly-changing food procurement and preparation networks. Changing metropolitan foodways present urban residents and visitors with new ways and places in which to consume, produce, or sell foods, and in which to (re)assess and (re)make the meanings of such practices. Providing far more than sustenance, food has social, symbolic, economic, and ideological value. Thus, participating in—or, alternatively, abstaining or being excluded from—eating, shopping, or laboring in urban markets, restaurants, kitchens, or informal locales can have profound social, symbolic, and economic significance. Moreover, changes in urban foodways frequently involve rural transformations, as both urban and rural residents engage with—and create—the production and distribution networks that characterize, and quite literally feed, the region’s growing cities.

Food is central to survival, daily life, and the webs of meaning, and power, that color human existence. Consequently, studies of food and foodways offer exceptional entry points through which to explore and engage with pressing issues of our time, including, here, urbanization and urban change. Latin America’s centuries-old involvement with inequitable, uneven, and increasingly globalized political-economies and agro-food systems makes the region a particularly alluring place for contemporary food-related research and scholarship. Moreover, despite great internal diversity, present (and historical) patterns of socioeconomic development, and inequity, unite portions of Latin America and the Caribbean, offering interesting fodder for both food-related analyses and discussions of regional trends. These include patterns of: foodway and demographic change; neoliberal development (and its alternatives, or backlash); deep, persistent (and frequently-racialized) socio-economic divisions; uneven/inequitable integration into regional/global political-economies; and tourism- and/or corporate-led development (amongst others).

Here, then, we explore food to shed light on the challenges, promises, and dynamic processes of urbanization and urban change in Latin America. In so doing, we engage with themes and issues of critical importance in the theory and practice of anthropology and related fields including: economics, social geography, sociology, urban planning/development, socio-economic policy, and nutrition/health. More precisely, individual panelists may address questions including: (How) are patterns of urban change—or development—implicated in shifting food acquisition, production, distribution, and consumption systems? Who benefits, or fails to benefit, from local, regional, and/or (trans)national food-related policies, programs, practices, and/or discourses? How do urban residents conceptualize and negotiate food-related constraints and opportunities, including potential paradoxes of food/nutritional scarcity amidst seeming abundance? How are Latin America’s urban foodways colored by long-entrenched (or newly emerging): socio-economic inequalities and patterns/practices of socio-economic, political, and/or spatial (geographical) exclusion (or inclusion)? And, how do people perpetuate or resist such inequities? How (and why) do city-dwellers ascribe particular meanings, or values, to specific food-related practices, policies, discourses, and/or symbolic representations? Moreover, what can studies of urban food and foodways tell us about changing—or newly emerging—economies, political systems (or visions), social movements, or global interconnections in Latin America, both urban and rural? What might studies of food reveal about the social, economic, political, and/or nutritional consequences—or implications—of existing economic models, socio-economic policies, or development programs?

DEADLINES (and Related Information):

Abstract Submission for Consideration in the Panel: Please submit proposed paper abstracts by Saturday, April 6th, 2013. All submissions should be sent to BOTH: Amy Lasater-Wille (ael337@nyu.edu) and Aeleka Schortman (schortman@uky.edu). We will respond to all interested parties by Tuesday April 9th (4/9/13) at the latest. We kindly ask that everyone abide by the April 6th deadline so that we may respond to all potential participants in a timely manner and assemble a full panel in time for the AAA abstract submission deadline (April 15, 2013).

AAA Submission Deadline: All accepted panelists must submit their own abstracts electronically to the AAA by April 15, 2013. (We will email instructions regarding how to do this.) Please note that participants must register (and pay) for the 2013 AAA meetings by that deadline as well.

Meeting Information: This year’s American Anthropological Association (AAA) Annual Meeting will be held at the Chicago Hilton in Chicago, Illinois on November 20-24, 2013. The meeting theme is Future Publics, Current Engagements.

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Call for Papers: “Sugar and Beyond”

Here is a call for papers that may be of interest to FoodAnthropology readers:

Sugar and Beyond

Organizers: Christopher P. Iannini, Julie Chun Kim, K. Dian Kriz
The John Carter Brown Library seeks proposals for a conference entitled “Sugar and Beyond,” to be held on October 25-26, 2013, and in conjunction with the Library’s Fall 2013 exhibition on sugar in the early modern period, especially its bibliographical and visual legacies. The centrality of sugar to the development of the Atlantic world is now well known. Sugar was the ‘green gold’ that planters across the Americas staked their fortunes on, and it was the commodity that became linked in bittersweet fashion to the rise of the Atlantic slave trade. Producing unprecedented quantities of sugar through their enforced labor, Africans on plantations helped transform life not only in the colonies but also in Europe, where consumers incorporated the luxury commodity into their everyday rituals and routines.

“Sugar and Beyond” seeks to evaluate the current state of scholarship on sugar, as well as to move beyond it by considering related or alternative consumer cultures and economies. Given its importance, sugar as a topic still pervades scholarship on the Americas and has been treated in many recent works about the Caribbean, Brazil, and other regions. This conference thus aims to serve as an occasion where new directions in the study of sugar can be assessed. At the same time, the connection of sugar to such broader topics as the plantation system, slavery and abolition, consumption and production, food, commodity exchange, natural history, and ecology has pointed the way to related but distinct areas of inquiry. Although sugar was one of the most profitable crops of the tropical Americas, it was not the only plant being cultivated. Furthermore, although the plantation system dominated the lives of African and other enslaved peoples, they focused much of their efforts at resistance around the search for ways to mitigate or escape the regime of sugar planting. We thus welcome scholars from all disciplines and national traditions interested in exploring both the power and limits of sugar in the early Atlantic world.

Topics that papers might consider include but are not limited to the following:

  • The development of sugar in comparative context
  • The rise of sugar and new conceptions of aesthetics, taste, and cultural refinement
  • Atlantic cultures of consumption
  • Coffee, cacao, and other non-sugar crops and commodities
  • Natural history and related genres of colonial description and promotion
  • Imperial botany and scientific programs of agricultural expansion and experimentation
  • Alternative ecologies to the sugar plantation
  • Plant transfer and cultivation by indigenous and African agents
  • Provision grounds and informal marketing
  • Economies of subsistence, survival, and resistance
  • Reimagining the Caribbean archive beyond sugar: new texts and methodological approaches

In order to be considered for the program, please send a paper proposal of 500 words and CV to jcbsugarandbeyond@gmail.com. The deadline for submitting proposals is December 15, 2012.

Presenters will likely have some travel and accommodation subvention available to them.
For more information, keep checking this site or email Margot Nishimura, Deputy Director and Librarian (margot_nishimura@brown.edu).

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Words in Food Symposium, Fall 2010, New Orleans

Many of you are planning on visiting New Orleans for the annual AAA meetings in November.  But we would like to have you here more often.  Here is another opportunity to come on down, participate in a conference, meet fascinating people, eat great food and generally, as they say, pass a good time.

The Words in Food Symposium is the 2nd annual event of this sort.  I attended the first one, which was small and intellectually invigorating.  It also featured some outstanding food.  The next one promises to be even better.  Slightly bigger, but still small enough for good discussions.  As the CFP below indicates, my department at UNO is helping organize this symposium.  The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a growing and vigorous institution (with internships, if you have interested students), with rapidly expanding collections from all over the south.  They even restored a vintage bar from Bruning’s Restaurant here in New Orleans, a famous seafood establishment on Lake Ponchartrain that did not survive Katrina.  Check out their web site to learn more about their growing collections and other events.

And consider coming to New Orleans for the symposium.  Details below.

Call for Papers

Words in Food Symposium

Eating in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Basin

Southern Food and Beverage Museum, New Orleans

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum, New Orleans, in partnership with the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Orleans and the Institute for the Study of Culinary Cultures at Dillard University is extending a call for papers for its second annual Words in Food Symposium. The symposium will occur on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, 2010.

The theme of the 2010 symposium is Eating in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Basin. Scholars, researchers, food writers and others will present information about the cross influences in the region, the ecology and cultural exchanges, as well as other issues and ideas. Presentations will focus primarily on the countries that have a coast on the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Participation in the symposium is open to all. We intend to include food presentations as well as oral presentations at this event.

The purpose of these conference presentations is to provide high-quality, innovative education and idea sharing for professionals. Our multiple day, multiple track format offers a self-directed, facilitated learning environment with education sessions, interactive forums, and panel discussions. Presentation sessions, designed to transcend all industry sectors, focus on current and emerging issues, best practices, and challenges about food and food-related issues.

Due to the number of proposals expected, we will not be able to accept every proposal, and we may combine individual proposals with similar topics to create a Panel Session. We anticipate numerous presenters. We hope you understand with these numbers, we are unable to cover expenses, so speakers are expected to pay travel expenses. We encourage innovative panels and presentations.

Please provide a description of your idea for a presentation or a 90-minute panel discussion in 250 words or less. There are no fees required to submit a proposal.

  • Please provide contact information: Name; Title; Affiliation/Organization; Address; Phone Number; Fax Number; Email Address; Website Address (if applicable for your topic or organization). If you are proposing a Panel Presentation, please provide the same contact information for each speaker and the moderator.
  • At the present time, proposals must be in English only.
  • Proposals should describe original work.
  • All proposals must be non-sales or marketing orientated.
  • Please list any anticipated AV equipment needs.
  • Proposals are due July 15, 2010.

If accepted, expect to provide a full paper for publication in the Conference Proceedings. If PowerPoint for slide presentations are submitted for inclusion in the Proceedings, a narrative description must accompany them. Proceeding papers are due in electronic form during or immediately following the conference.

To submit by email, send your proposal and any electronic attachments to Chris Smith, chris@southernfood.org.

Posted by David Beriss

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