Food, Identity and Social Change, Copenhagen

2014 ToRS International Food Workshop

Food, Identity and Social Change

25-26 September 2014

Department of Cross-cultural and Regional Studies (ToRS),

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Call for Proposals

Food draws people into the web of life and touches upon everything that matters: it expresses personhood, marks membership (or non-membership) in practically any kind of social grouping and draws lines of where morality begins and ends. Yet, food can also signify very different things from place to place, from kitchen to kitchen and from one time period to another. Social changes – such as peoples on the move (nomads, migrants, tourists), changes in intergroup relations within societies, new technologies (in mass media, biotechnology), mass production of foods and increasing globalization of foods and war – have been relatively neglected in food studies.

Food is a powerful lens for analyzing identity. This is clearly illustrated in the works of food studies that include Bourdieu’s inquiry into the taste and preferences of the French bourgeoisie and Mintz’s pioneering historical study of how high status sugar produced in the Caribbean became a working class staple to the exciting growth of more recent works by Appadurai on how to create a national cuisine and Wilk’s scrutiny of the complex culinary reactions of Belizeans to colonialism, class differentiation and modernity. 

Keynote Speakers

Professor Tamara L. Bray, Wayne State University

Professor Mandy Thomas, Queensland University of Technology

Professor Richard R. Wilk, Indiana University

We welcome contributions on food, identity and social change: Why do we eat what we eat and why have different cultures and societies at different times eaten other things? What fosters social change to affect dietary patterns and changing identities? How can food offer the lens to understand the cultural and social affinities in moments of change and transformation? The topic offers an opportunity to excavate the past, to examine the present and to project into the future.

Anyone interested in presenting a paper at the ToRS 2014 International Food Workshop should submit a proposal of 300 words and relevant contact information by 1 April 2014 to Katrine Meldgaard Kjær (katrinemkjaer@gmail.com)

Organizers: Cynthia Chou (cynchou@hum.ku.dk)  and Susanne Kerner (kerner@hum.ku.dk)

Organizing Assistant: Katrine Meldgaard Kjær (katrinemkjaer@gmail.com)

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Filed under Call for Papers, CFP, Food Studies

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