Category Archives: AAA 2016 Minneapolis

SAFN at the AAAs in Minneapolis

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Our section has an exciting lineup of sessions and panels at the upcoming AAA conference in Minneapolis. We have a number of new events and a few changes to annual events. We are thrilled to be co-sponsoring a career development workshop with Karen Kelsky on Thursday. Following this session, there will be a casual networking event where junior scholars can meet and chat with senior scholars.

This year we are holding our business meeting on Friday separate from our reception. We hope this will help us get more business done on Friday and have more time on Saturday to socialize with colleagues and friends.

We’ll see you in Minneapolis.

 


Special Events

Thursday, 10:30am ACADEMIC AND POST-ACADEMIC CAREER DEVELOPMENT FOR PRE-DOCS: KAREN KELSKY TAKES ON PROFESSIONALIZATION

Are you coming up for promotion? On the job market? This is a great opportunity to get expert advice on how to put your best foot forward. SAFN is co-sponsoring this professional development workshop with the renowned academic consultant Karen Kelsky of the “The Professor is In” fame. Preregistration is required for this highly subsidized event. Seats are still available. Grab them while they last.

Thursday, 12:15pm NETWORKING AND MENTORING IN THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD

Come meet up with your favorite anthropology of food and nutrition scholars. Ask questions about teaching, research, career paths and come to make new connections! This is a casual mentoring event co-sponsored with C&A.

Friday, 12:15 pm SOCIETY FOR THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF FOOD AND NUTRITION (SAFN)  BUSINESS MEETING (4-0680)

This is the first year we have decided to hold our business meeting separate from our reception. Bringing your lunch and get involved with your section. We are looking for people to join the executive board and a number of committees. We want to hear your thoughts on where SAFN is going and what we should be doing to engage academics and the public in thinking about the anthropology of food and nutrition.

Saturday, 7:45 pm SOCIETY FOR THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF FOOD AND NUTRITION (SAFN) DISTINGUISHED SPEAKER, AWARDS, AND RECEPTION (5-1170)

Please come by to socialize with fellow SAFN members and to enjoy tasty food and drinks at our reception. There will be a presentation of student awards and our distinguished speaker Lisa Heldke will give a talk entitled “It’s Chomping All the Way Down: Guts, Dirt and Fundamental(ish) Metaphysical Concepts”.


Panels and Sessions

Wednesday

Wednesday, 2:00 pm PROVISIONING COMMUNITIES: MATERNAL, CHILD AND SENIOR FOOD SECURITY (2-0165)

Thursday

Thursday, 8:00 am GROWING, FEEDING AND COOKING: ANTHROPOLOGIES OF FOOD WORK (3-0070)

Thursday, 4:00 pm FOOD AND NUTRITION POSTERS (3-1305)

Thursday, 4:00 pm TASTE AND THE MEDIATION OF VALUE, AUTHENTICITY, AND POLITICS (3-1215)

Friday, 10:15 am EXPLORING EVIDENCE, ACCIDENTS, AND DISCOVERIES IN CRITICAL FOOD SYSTEMS EDUCATION: PART II (4-0450)

Friday, 1:45 pm THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF FOOD AND NUTRITION IN INSTITUTIONAL CONTEXTS (4-0955)

Saturday

Saturday, 8:00 am AN ANTHRONOMIC APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING AND SOLVING SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEM CRISES (5-0135)

Saturday, 4:00 pm WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUNGRY IN THE UNITED STATES: A LOOK AT FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY (5-0995)

Sunday

Sunday, 8:00 am GLOBAL FOOD AND COMMUNITY IDENTITY (6-0080)


Many thanks to our program chairs Joan Gross and Abigail Adams for their hard work in putting this program together.

Follow us on Twitter @foodanthro during the AAAs! safn-logo-small

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SAFN 2016 Distinguished Speaker Lisa Heldke

Please join us for the SAFN reception and distinguished speaker on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7:45pm at the AAA conference in Minneapolis. This year our distinguished speaker is Lisa Heldke, Professor of Philosophy at Gustavus Adolphus College. Prof. Heldke’s work explores the philosophical significance of food, which she explores in her book Exotic Appetites: Ruminations of a Food Adventurer, two co-edited volumes Cooking, Eating, Thinking: Transformative Philosophies of Food and The Atkins Diet and Philosophy, and numerous articles.

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The title of Heldke’s talk is “It’s Chomping All the Way Down: Guts, Dirt and Fundamental(ish) Metaphysical Concepts”. The following is an amuse bouche that will hopefully whet your appetite for the talk:

How are we to understand the concepts of individual, and of person, in the age of the microbiome? We are awash in news accounts of research into the microorganisms that live on our skin, in our guts and in the soil. We learn that humans play host to more individual non-human organisms than we have cells of “our own,” and that those organisms play vital roles in essential processes such as digestion. The deep interdependence between humans and our microbiotic “guests” has led biologist Scott Gilbert to declare, “we are all lichens”—that is, “multicellular eukaryote[s] plus colonies of persistent symbionts.”

But symbiotic “lichen personhood” tells only part of the story of what it means to be a biological individual. Another, crucial, part is this: our bodies may end up playing host to a set of parasitic guests who deplete our hospitality and sicken or even kill us. Parasitism is not an inessential, accidental, or infrequent occurrence. Furthermore, the distinction between parasite and symbiont is neither sharp nor static; today’s symbiont may be tomorrow’s parasite. A conception of personhood must not simply acknowledge but also absorb this feature of existence.

Taking parasitism to be metaphysically relevant and instructive challenges the dualisms that dominate western metaphysics, in particular the self/other dualism. The parasite, taken both literally and figuratively, calls us to refabricate models of personhood that have rested on this tidy division. The result is a relational ontology with teeth.

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Unlikely Eats: Paying Homage to Marge Gunderson in Minnesota

Frances Santagate Sutton

Going to Minneapolis for the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association? Readers of the blog who have never been to Minnesota may be trying to mix business with pleasure by visiting some of the iconic places in the Twin Cities area. I have never traveled to Minnesota but I associate it with three distinct cultural pilgrimages: paying homage to shopping in the same room as a roller coaster, paying homage to Prince, and paying homage to fictional hero, Marge Gunderson, of the 1996 Coen Brothers film, Fargo. With Marge Gunderson, the Coen Brothers gave us one of the most memorable heroes in modern cinema, beloved for her charm, wit, kindness, and bravery. Less notable but still noticeable was Marge Gunderson’s healthy appetite.

When we first meet Brainerd Police Chief Marge Gunderson, she’s being called to police duty at an ungodly hour. Her devoted husband, Norm, wakes up too, “Gotta eat a breakfast, Marge. I’ll fix ya some eggs.” She replies, “Aw, you can sleep, hon.” He sits up, “Ya gotta eat a breakfast…I’ll fix ya some eggs.” Their early morning breakfast together is a tender moment, as are all the moments shared between Marge and Norm in Fargo, most of which involve food. In one scene, Norm brings Marge lunch at the police station, a sandwich and drink from Arby’s. In another scene, they enjoy a hearty lunch together at a buffet restaurant where another police officer delivers Marge phone records relevant to the murder case.

Marge is “Minnesota nice,” whip smart, great at her job, and seven months pregnant. Apart from one case of near-morning sickness at the crime scene, we do not see Marge’s pregnancy affect her work. She never flounders, falters, or even flinches- even in the face of danger in the form of a man putting another man through a wood chipper. But she’s not hardened or gruff like the crime-fighting characters we’re used to. After she realizes she’s been given the runaround by a suspect, the first thing she does is stop at Hardee’s for a breakfast sandwich. There’s an entire scene dedicated to Marge sitting alone in her car, eating her breakfast sandwich, pausing at one point to smile – thus taking a moment of enjoyment during an otherwise stressful time. Like other Coen brother movies, Fargo marries elements of violence with elements of screwball comedy. But its key ingredient is its humanity, best exemplified by Chief Marge Gunderson and her Midwestern charm.

She may not be an anthropologist or even a real person, but as far investigators (of any kind) and food lovers are concerned- Marge Gunderson is the Fictional Patron Saint of Minnesota.  In fact, my trip to the AAA Annual Meeting will coincide with my pilgrimage to pay homage to her. “How?” you ask. I assume you’re asking because you too are interested in this pilgrimage. Although Marge is from Brainerd, the murder investigation brings her down to Minneapolis. While in the Twin Cities, she ends a call to her local police contact, Detective Sibert, with a request: “Would you happen to know a good place for lunch in the downtown area? … The Radisson… Oh yah, is it reasonable?” The Radisson in Minneapolis where Marge Gunderson stays and meets her friend Mike for lunch still exists in downtown Minneapolis. It is now called the Radisson Blu and it is home to a highly acclaimed restaurant. You can lunch there and yah, it’s pretty reasonable.

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Sidney Mintz Celebration

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On Friday, Nov. 18, there will be a celebration of Sidney Mintz at the AAA meeting in Minneapolis. For more information and to RSVP, please go here…

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Mentoring event with Karen Kelsky at the AAAs

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The Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition (SAFN) and Culture&Agriculture (C&A) are excited to announce that we will jointly sponsor two workshops led by Dr. Karen Kelsky from “The Professor Is In”. These workshops will provide fora to consider career development strategies along with peers who share interests in matters food/agriculture/ natural resource-related. They will take place on Thursday, November 17th at the AAA Annual Meetings in Minneapolis, MN. We thank the AAA for a Mentoring Award in support of these events. We will also hold a Mentoring event between the workshops (at noon) for registered participants and interested members of C&A and SAFN.

ACADEMIC AND POST-ACADEMIC CAREER DEVELOPMENT FOR PRE-DOCS: KAREN KELSKY TAKES ON PROFESSIONALIZATION In this workshop I walk you through the conditions of the current American job market, the most common mistakes made by job-seekers, and the ways you can maximize your chances of success while looking for a tenure-track job. We’ll cover: The big-picture conditions of the U.S. tenure track job market, How to think like a search committee, The four core qualities of a successful tenure track job candidate, The all-important 5-Year Plan, The ethos of job market documents, The most common mistakes made by job seekers, The keys to academic interviewing. We’ll also touch on the non-academic option. You’ll leave with a broad understanding of the real (as opposed to fantasy) criteria of tenure track hiring, and how to tailor your record and application materials to maximize your chances of success. Friday, 11/17- 10:30 AM-12:00 PM

ACADEMIC AND POST-ACADEMIC CAREER DEVELOPMENT FOR POST-DOCS: KAREN KELSKY TAKES ON PROFESSIONALIZATION This workshop shows you how to 1) track out a research and teaching trajectory across the 5 years of the tenure track probationary period in an anthropology or related social science position; 2) manage postdoctoral fellowship years while seeking an eventual tenure track position. Focuses on creating an effective Five-Year-Plan, and managing your time to maximize productivity (i.e., working backward from your tenure year to plot out specific publishing goals, or making a postdoc writing schedule with an eye to the job hunt). Also looks at departmental politics, managing colleagues, handling the demands of teaching, and calculating appropriate levels of service. Addresses children and work-life balance. Based on Dr. Karen’s years as a department head mentoring a number of faculty through successful tenure cases. Friday, 11/17 2:00 -03:30 PM
The AAA workshops are all listed on the website, but the active link for workshop registration is only visible from a member’s personal profile (under “My Payments, Receipts, Transactions & Events”).

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Mill City Museum

David Beriss

Going to Minneapolis for the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association? Readers of this blog will probably want to explore the diverse foods available around the Twin Cities, maybe check out the markets, or seek out some craft beer. If you have time, however, I suggest you visit the Mill City Museum, located on the site of what was once the largest flour mill in the world. It is a fascinating museum, an architectural marvel, and located next to what was once the only natural waterfall on the Mississippi. And it may give you some insights into our food system’s biggest players.

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Mill City Museum

The Twin Cities have a reputation for being home to hipsters, a diverse array of immigrants, progressive politics, and Garrison Keillor. There is, however, a pantheon of American food deities based in Minnesota. The Jolly Green Giant, the Pillsbury Doughboy, Betty Crocker, the Trix Rabbit, Count Chocula, Lucky the Leprechaun, and many of the other characters that inhabit your grocery store shelves or home pantry were born in Minnesota. As the historic home of General Mills, Pillsbury, Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Hormel, Land O’Lakes, Schwan Foods, and many other food-related corporations, Minnesota might just be the Mount Olympus of American industrial food.

I grew up in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington, more or less unaware of any of this. I think I imagined that the Valley of the Jolly Green Giant was somewhere in rural Minnesota, possibly near my grandparent’s home in Austin, not far from the Iowa border. Austin is where Hormel is based and where they make Spam. But the food industry was actually right in front of me nearly every day in Bloomington and I never noticed it. I grew up on Washburn Avenue South and attended Washburn Elementary School. I never gave any thought to the name “Washburn.” The streets in Minneapolis and its suburbs are arranged in a series of convenient alphabets. Washburn is between Vincent and Xerxes, which seemed like an explanation all by itself. After all, Xerxes is not, as far as I know, a figure in Minnesota history, so why raise questions about Washburn?

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Cadwallader C. Washburn

It turns out that the street is named after Cadwallader Colden Washburn. Washburn was one of those nineteenth century guys with an amazingly varied career. Originally from Maine, he was involved in a wide range of businesses in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. He was elected to Congress from Wisconsin in the 1850s, was an active abolitionist, and served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He was eventually elected governor of Wisconsin. For our purposes, perhaps the most important thing he did was build some of the biggest flour mills in the world. Those mills contributed to making Minneapolis into one of the world centers for flour milling from the late nineteenth century until the 1920s. Whence the name “Mill City.” Washburn’s company eventually became General Mills.

The museum is located inside the ruins of the Washburn “A” Mill, built in 1874. In 1878 flour dust triggered an explosion that destroyed the mill, along with several other mills along the Mississippi, killing at least 18 workers. It seems that flour dust can be quite explosive. In rebuilding the mill, Washburn worked with an Austrian engineer, William de la Barre, to develop a system for controlling the dust and making the mills safer. You can learn about this whole process at the museum – they even stage demonstrations of flour dust explosions in the museum, for those who like pyrotechnics with their museum experience.

The mill closed in 1965 and, after sitting derelict for decades, nearly burned down in 1991. Built inside the ruins of the mill, the museum is a great example of what can be done with abandoned industrial sites. The museum exhibits detail the history of making flour in the Twin Cities and should provide you with some insights into how Minnesota became a center for industrial food. And if you have had enough industrial food history, there is a farmer’s market nearby.

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CFP: AAA 2016 in Minneapolis

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Call for Papers

Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition

Your opportunity to present at the 115th American Anthropological Association annual meeting in Minneapolis, MN November 16-20, 2016

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

The deadline for EXECUTIVE SESSION AND ROUNDTABLE Submissions is Noon EST, TUESDAY FEBRUARY 17th.

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

THE THEME of this year’s conference “Evidence, Accident, Discovery raises issues central to debates within both anthropology and politics in a neoliberal, climate-changing, social media-networked era: What counts as evidence? What does evidence count for? What are the underlying causes and foreseeability of violence and catastrophes? How is misfortune interpreted, and causality attributed in cases of humanly-preventable harm? And in the give and take of relationships on which anthropological evidence typically depends, who gets to claim that they discovered something? We welcome proposals that debate these and other questions stimulated by the conference theme, in the opportunity that our annual meeting provides for “big tent” debate.

Remember that to upload abstracts and to participate in the meeting you must be an active AAA member who has paid the 2016 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 the 2016 Program Chairs, Joan Gross (jgross@oregonstate.edu) and Abigail Adams (adams@ccsu.edu).

Presentation Policy: Participants may only: (1) present one paper/poster, or serve as a participant on roundtable or installation and (2) accept no more than one discussant role elsewhere on the program. An individual may serve as organizer or chair of an unlimited number of sessions. A participant may be credited with co-authorship of one or more additional papers when co-authorship is understood to include participation on a research project. Presenters’ names must appear first.

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 and/or directly related to the meeting theme. SESSION proposals should include a session abstract of no more than 500 words, key words, number of participants in the session, 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.

Additional information about submission types is available on the AAA website.

We look forward to another exciting annual meeting with strong SAFN participation!

Joan Gross and Abigail Adams
SAFN Program Chairs

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