Call for Contributors: Anthropology of Wine

Call for Contributors

Anthropology of Wine: Ethnography from the vineyard to the glass

Wine has received some attention as a historical and archeological subject; however, there is little recent scholarship by anthropologists that deals with the topic of wine. This may come as a surprise given the cultural and economic importance of wine in much of the world today. Alcohol Studies has generally approached wine consumption within the framework of disease prevention, often leaving out the cultural and social aspects of alcohol consumption. While the Anthropology of Food flourishes, wine has largely remained peripheral to this scholarly table. The study of wine finds itself in an awkward position–caught between the writings of amateur wine lovers, industry and critics and the anecdotal attention of scholars. The goal of this proposed volume of collected essays is to bring together current anthropological perspectives on wine and to create a place for the study ofwine within the larger body of ethnographic and theoretical work in cultural anthropology and the anthropology of food.

How can anthropological fieldwork contribute to the study of wine? How does a cultural perspective contribute to an understanding of production and consumption? How does the concept of distinction illuminate the study of wine? What are the larger social and economic themes at play in the making and drinking of wine? Essays in this volume will investigate wine from cultural, social, political and economic perspectives. Ethnographic methods and anthropological theory will frame and inform discussions of wine from the growing of grapes to the sensory perception of wine in the glass. All essays should be ethnographic or historical but with an anthropological scope. Possible themes and topics include:

·       Cultural concepts of terroir, place and locality
·       Sensory perceptions and the wine tasting experience
·       Taste memory
·       Wine education
·       Agricultural organization and the cultivation of grapes
·       Labour and working conditions in the wine industry
·       Gender and wine
·       Class and wine
·       Biodynamic and organic wine production
·       Geography of wine, the construction of place through viticulture and oenology, the emergence of new wine regions and markets such as China
·       Changing relationships between wine and food
·       Wine as food
·       Technology, techne and craft in wine production
·       Perceptions of nature in wine production and consumption
·       Home winemaking practices
·       Wine bars and tasting rooms
·       The role of the sommelier and the wine expert
·       Wine writing, wine criticism and authority
·       The wine business, emerging markets, consumer education & communications
·       The impact of legislation on wine production and consumption

Interested contributors should submit a 200-300-word summary of their proposed essay, a CV and short bio to Dr. Rachel Black (rblack (at) by January 28, 2011. Full-length submissions (20-35 pages) will be requested for early September 2011.

Potential contributors should indicate their interest in participating in a panel on the Anthropology of Wine for the ASFS conference (Missoula, June 2011) or the AAA conference (Montréal, November 2011).

Posted by Rachel Black

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s