Author Archives: atrubek

Taste and Terroir as an Anthropological Matter – Summary

Happy New Year!

Abigail Adams and I are the new co-editors of the SAFN blog. Our heartfelt thanks to David Beriss, the long-time editor and constant champion of this fantastic resource! We are stepping into big shoes.

We will begin our tenure with a series of short overviews of the food related panels at the 2017 American Anthropological Association meeting in Washington, D.C.. We include contact information for the panel organizer so that you can easily initiate further dialogue or requests for individual papers.

Kerri Lesh (University of Nevada-Reno; organized the panel, Taste and Terroir as Anthropological Matter. She was joined by Carole Counihan, Anne Lally, Sharyn Jones and Daniel Shattuck. I was the discussant. The papers covered a wide range of locations, perceptions and actions related to taste and terroir: Kentucky, Iceland, Sardinia, Italy and Spain; capers, grapes, sheep, hogs. As Kerri Lesh points out, terroir can be identified as a rich site for “condensed sociocultural matter.” In such considerations, as made clear by everyone on the panel, terroir makes sense to people due to concerns that emerge from specific cultural and environmental contexts. Anthropologists, thus, can make an important contribution to the expanding scholarly interest in the concept of terroir, because our research makes clear that it cannot be understood using linear analyses of cause and effect. Meanings are complex and contradictory. Anne Lally’s exploration of the contested role of sheep to the Icelandic landscape and culture made that clear; these sheep are ‘good’ for Iceland’s agrarian identity but not so ‘good’ for contemporary concerns about tree loss and soil erosion. Meanwhile, everyone in Iceland likes the taste of the sheep. So, certain sociocultural matters appear consistently in terroir talk, even though the cultures and identities vary. All the panelists agreed that we talk about terroir in order to be connected to a certain geography. Daniel Shattuck, Sharyn Jones and Carole Counihan’s ethnographies reveal that to talk about terroir can also reveal contemporary concerns, because it reinforces the notion that our food is natural, it comes from the soil and not a bag of Miracle Gro. Finally, we all affirmed that those we studied care about terroir because it links food and drink to larger human aspirations, mediating on-going attempts to build towards the social, cultural and public good – by producers, by consumers, by activists.

Amy Trubek, SAFN Blog Co-Editor

University of Vermont


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Postdoctoral Fellow at the Culinaria Research Center at the University of Toronto

The Culinaria Research Centre at the University of Toronto invites applications for a full-time postdoctoral fellowship in the field of Food Studies. The Culinaria Research Centre is one of the world’s largest research centres in the study of food and society. To learn more about the Centre, its projects and affiliates, please visit our website online at:

The postdoctoral fellow will have the opportunity to work with a range of Food Studies faculty at the University of Toronto under the direct supervision of Daniel Bender, Director of the Centre. This fellowship is open to all scholars who have completed a Ph.D.- either in Food Studies or a related field within the humanities and social sciences- by the time of appointment and within the last five years. The postdoctoral appointment will commence on 1 July 2018 for the duration of one year. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience but with a minimum of $31,000 CAD.

The Culinaria Research Centre seeks postdoctoral fellowship applicants with primary research experience in one or more of the following areas: Urban food security; food and diaspora; food activism; food, urban livelihoods/labour, and urban agriculture; food and sensory experience; food and inequality; food and identity; and/or critical approaches to nutrition discourses and practices. Fellows will interact with faculty, graduate students, undergraduates and culinary professionals across a wide range of disciplines. In addition to engaging in collaborative and independent research, the Fellow will assist in planning and administering a speakers’ series, along with other Food Studies events through the duration of their tenure. The Fellow is expected to be in residence at the Culinaria Research Centre and will be able to conduct research at the University of Toronto libraries and in the Culinaria Kitchen Laboratory. The Centre is located at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus, within the richly diverse eastern end of the Greater Toronto Area.

Applications should be submitted by 20 February 2018. However, review of applications will begin immediately. Applications must include: 1) a cover letter; 2) a curriculum vitae; 3) three letters of reference from supervisors or professors sent separately; (3) a writing sample; and 4) a statement of current and future research interests, as well as a delineation of possible contributions to the research culture of the Centre.

Employment as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto is covered by the terms of the CUPE 3902 Unit 5 Collective Agreement.  This job is posted in accordance with the CUPE 3902 Unit 5 Collective Agreement. The University of Toronto is a non-discriminate employer and is welcoming to all diversity within its heterogeneous community. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

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Job Posting for Food Systems/Food Studies Position

The Culinary Institute of America is looking for a new colleague to teach food studies and food systems. They would be joining a growing program in Applied Food Studies (, which focuses on a blend of experiential and theoretical approaches to the field. A PhD is preferred but not required.

Food Studies Job

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