Category Archives: ASFS
President, Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition
Happy New Year!
We have news of changes here at FoodAnthropology and, more broadly, at the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition. First, Rachel Black, having completed her extended term as our glorious leader, has now joined the ranks of our many illustrious past presidents. We are all grateful for her amazingly productive work. And I am sure she will continue to play a significant role in shaping this organization and the anthropology of food and nutrition in general.
At the last meeting of the American Anthropological Association I officially became the new president of SAFN. Hopefully I can live up to the standards set by my predecessors. I have only just begun to learn the secret codes, handshakes, and mysterious workings of the AAA itself. I keep hoping that an image of Sidney Mintz will appear in the sugar on a beignet and point the way forward, but that has not yet happened. I suspect that successful leadership of SAFN will mostly involve finding ways to help other people pursue whatever brilliant ideas they have for the organization. And, as it happens, there are already people stepping up with great ideas to pursue.
In coming weeks, I will post updates about some of those ideas and activities here. One of the first and most important ones has to do with the blog itself. Amy Trubek and Abigail Adams are taking over as co-editors of FoodAnthropology. They already have a number of really great ideas for new themes for posting here. You will continue to read many of the occasional postings (like our reading digest, “What FoodAnthropology Is Reading Now”) and series that have proven popular over time. I am sure that Amy and Abigail will bring in new writers and themes in coming weeks that will make the blog more dynamic and exciting. If you have ideas, reach out to them at email@example.com and Adams@ccsu.edu.
Unlike some of the bigger sections of the AAA, SAFN does not have its own conference. What we do have, however, is the ability to participate in one of the most exciting interdisciplinary annual food studies conferences anywhere. The joint annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and the Agriculture Food and Human Values Society occurs every June and showcases a lot of the best and most interesting research in food across many disciplines (we posted the CFP on the blog a few weeks ago, here). It is a terrific opportunity to network with people and there is usually a significant SAFN presence. This year’s conference will be in Madison, Wisconsin, from June 13-16. We would like to organize several SAFN panels there. The overall conference theme is “The Agroecological Prospect: The Politics of Integrating Values, Food, and Farming,” and, of course, panels and papers on other topics are welcome. Let’s use the blog and the SAFN listserv to organize panels starting now. Got ideas? Let us know or post a call on the listserv to recruit others. The deadline for submissions is February 15, so we must get organized quickly! (You must be a SAFN member to use the listserv. Not a member? We would love to have you among us! See the top of the blog for a link to how to become one.)
Last year we created an elected position for a student representative on the SAFN Executive Board. We are now officially seeking nominations for that job! Our current appointed student representative, by the way, is Kelly Alexander, whose work you can find all over this blog. If you are interested in running, please contact David Sutton, who is our nominations chair.
I will post further updates here soon, as will the many other contributors to this blog. You should reach out to Amy and Abigail with ideas for ways you can participate in the blog as well. This has proven to be a wonderful resource for getting information out to the world on the work of anthropologists in food. When you post here, a lot of people will read what you write, including many people outside the world of universities. Use that power to get your work read! This is an exciting time to be working on food and nutrition. Let’s get the stories of our research and of the people we work with out there!
Call for abstracts for the best annual interdisciplinary Food Studies conference. SAFN members, it would be great to organize whole SAFN panels for this event. Start a discussion on the listserv!
AFHVS / ASFS 2018: The Agroecological Prospect:
The Politics of Integrating Values, Food, and Farming
June 13 to 16, 2018.
The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) is pleased to host the Joint Annual Meeting of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS) and the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS), June 13 to 16, 2018.
The conference theme, The Agroecological Prospect: The Politics of Integrating Values, Food, and Farming, is an invitation to engage with the political and governance issues that arise in agricultural and food systems. Agroecology links scientific inquiry, practical arts, and transformative social action to develop food systems that are fair and resilient. The conference program will highlight necessary changes to the design and management of our food systems so that we may adjust human systems to better function within the limits of natural systems, ensuring economic viability, food security, and the sovereignty of all people. The conference planning committee invites presentations and posters addressing this topic, as well as broader issues facing agriculture, food, values, human-environment interaction, and more.
Learn more about the conference at https://afhv2018.wiscweb.wisc.edu/. Giving voice to these issues is fundamental to resolving them, so that we may better function in harmony with natural systems – while ensuring economic viability, food security, and the sovereignty of all people.
Abstract deadline has been extended to February 15, 2018. Submit abstracts for presentations and posters at https://easychair.org/cfp/AFHV-ASFS_2018.
I have just returned from the joint annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society, which is one of the most interesting Food Studies conferences around. This year’s event, at Occidental College, in Pasadena, California, was organized by sociologist John Lang, who, along with his team, did a great job while also maintaining a kind of relaxed cool. Many participants live tweeted the event, providing an interesting subtext. Emily Contois, who organized the live social media team, has written up an excellent overview of the conference and provided an organized view of the social media feed here.
Food Studies is an inherently multidisciplinary field, which may be what makes it attractive to anthropologists, the Zeligs of the social and human sciences. The opportunity to experience different approaches to the study of society through food is hard to resist. Of course, sometimes these cross-disciplinary conversations can be complicated. Discussing the politics of “cultural appropriation,” for instance, can be difficult when we are not all working with the same definition of “culture.” Yet the value of trying to figure out what everyone means is worth the effort. Three of the trends I noticed at this year’s conference help to explain why.
First, over the last few years, public policy has become an increasingly significant part of the conference. In addition to examining local foodways, increasing numbers of participants have worked to relate their analyses to the broader political-economic context and to the public policies that shape people’s choices and actions. The idea of a “food movement” gained national legitimacy during the Obama years, but that seems to be changing in the Trump administration. Yet the opposite is happening among food scholars, who seem more anxious than ever to find ways to make their research relevant to public policy and public debate.
There are many areas of policy (sustainability, agriculture, public health, globalization, etc.) that can be approached through food studies. There were policy-related discussions of all of these things at this year’s conference, but I was especially struck by a particular focus on labor in the food industry. This was central to the conference plenary panel, which was led by Evan Kleiman, host of KCRW’s “Good Food” show. The other participants were Joann Lo, the executive director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, Diep Tran, owner and chef at Good Girl Dinette, and Besha Rodell, restaurant critic for the LA Weekly. Tran wrote a powerful piece about food work and “cheap eats” on the NPR food blog earlier this year. With quite a lot of direct experience in the industry, the panelists made a compelling case for the need to change wage and tipping structures, along with providing better social support for food industry workers. The panelists also insisted on the centrality of gender, race/ethnicity, and immigration to discussions of food industry labor. The struggle for equity and fairness, already significant during the Obama administration, seems likely to become even more difficult—and essential—in coming years.
The influence and responsibility of science and of universities was also a central theme at this year’s conference. The keynote address, by Sharon Friel of the Australian National University, examined the role of research, activists, and corporate lobbies in shaping global food and nutrition policies. The presidents of both of the organizing associations, Leland Glenna (AFHVS) and Krishnendu Ray (ASFS) addressed the place of university research and researchers in the public sphere. Glenna focused on the hazards of corporate control of university research, while Ray raised questions about the politics of teaching and knowledge. From climate change, to vaccines, antibiotics, obesity, nutrition, health care, and, indeed, labor, the need for solid research to support public policy seems more important than ever. Yet the increasing grip of private industry on university research, combined with a delegitimization of scientific knowledge, threatens the role of scholars in helping to shape public policy.
Finally, there was a remarkable number of presentations that focused on research collaboration with the people being studied. Collaborative research has been a central focus in anthropology in recent years, so it was interesting to see that this sort of work, involving students, faculty, and broader communities, has also become more common in other fields. Areas of collaboration included promoting food justice activism, creating food-related museum exhibits, developing local food initiatives, and more. This kind of collaboration may offer an important link to both the making of public policy and efforts to make university research relevant to the public sphere. The national discourse from certain quarters may work to delegitimize the voices and work of university and other professional scholars., Grassroots engagement with the people we study can have the opposite effect, legitimizing research because it is their research as well. This is, I think, a good trend to see in food studies.
There are many kinds of knowledge that can be used to make sense of society through food. I have touched on only a few of the many themes that were reflected in the conference program. As a field of knowledge, Food Studies is clearly growing and thriving. For anthropologists who are interested in finding ways to make their research more relevant to policy debates, there is a lot to learn and many people to collaborate with in Food Studies. Next year’s conference will be in Madison, Wisconsin. I hope to see even more SAFN members there.
Los Angeles is one of the great food cities of the world. So, logically, it should be one of the great places to have a food studies conference. That is the hypothesis we are working with and it is up to you to go study the matter. To do that, you may want to attend the annual joint conference of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society, this coming June 14-17. It will be held on the campus of Occidental College, in, of course, Los Angeles.
The preliminary schedule is available on the conference web site. This should help you decide whether you want to attend. The scholarly program is on June 15-17, but there are several interesting looking events, including workshops and tours, on June 14 that could give you a reason to arrive a day earlier.
If you are presenting research at the conference (and a number of SAFN members are!), you need to be sure to register by today (4/30/2017) to be included on the final program. Whether you are presenting at the conference or not, we hope to see a good turnout of SAFN people there. We will try to organize some sort of informal gathering of SAFN members at the conference this year. Details to follow!
A quick update! The deadline for submissions to the AFHVS/ASFS Annual Meeting and Conference has been extended to February 6, 2017, at 9pm PST.
AFHVS/ASFS Annual Meeting and Conference, June 14-17, 2017
Call for Abstracts
Occidental College is pleased to host the Joint 2017 Annual Meetings and Conference of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS) and the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS).
The conference theme, “Migrating Food Cultures: Engaging Pacific Perspectives on Food and Agriculture,” invites us to reflect on and engage with the entirety of the Pacific region. The conference setting of Los Angeles, California, is a dynamic, diverse, and multiethnic global city that serves as a gateway, destination, and waypoint. Much of the food itself in California is produced in part by migrating workers and immigrants; indeed, the food scene in Los Angeles is the result of migrating food cultures. We use our conference’s location to invite participants to imagine and explore how the agricultural and food worlds throughout the Pacific mesh with environmental, social, cultural, historical, and material resources. We likewise invite participants to examine the roles of people, place, innovation, food production, and consumption, with attention to how these roles reflect and reinforce the social, economic, and cultural food landscapes of the Pacific.
AFHVS and ASFS support scholarship and public presentation on a wide variety of topics at their conferences. For this year’s conference, in keeping with the theme, we encourage but do not require that papers, panel sessions, roundtables, and workshops speak to the theme. These sessions can be from practitioners, activists, and others working in food systems and culture. Submission areas include but are not limited to:
- Food systems: local and global, past and present
- Culture and cultural studies
- Discipline-specific and interdisciplinary research
- Art, design, and technology
- Ethics and philosophy
- Food access, security, and sovereignty
- Migration, immigration, diaspora and transnational community studies
- Community studies
- Cultural, agricultural, and culinary preservation and innovation
- Governance, policy, and rights
- Pedagogy, food education, and/or experiential education
- Labor in the food system, production, consumption
- Energy and agriculture
- Health: problems, paradigms, and professions
Submission system is open now.
Submission system closes: February 6, 2017 at 9:00am PST
All proposals must include:
- type of submission (e.g., individual paper, panel, roundtable, lightning talk, exploration gallery, etc.);
- title of paper, panel, or event;
- submitter’s name, organizational affiliation, and status (e.g., undergraduate, graduate student, postdoc, faculty, independent scholar, community member)
- submitter’s email address;
- names, email addresses, and organizational affiliations of co-authors or co-organizers;
- abstract of 250 or fewer words that describes the proposed paper, panel, or event;
- indication of any special AV/technology needs;
- a list of up to six descriptive keywords/phrases for the program committee to use in organizing sessions and events;
- any attachments must include the submitter’s name (e.g., Lang_John_restaurant_panel).
For individual papers: Papers will be grouped with similarly themed topics to the best of the program organizer’s abilities. Please submit a single abstract along with contact information.
For panels: Panels are pre-organized groups of no more than 4 papers, with a chair and discussant (who may be one person). Please include a panel abstract as well as abstracts for each individual paper. Conference organizers will make the utmost effort to preserve panels but reserve the right to move papers with consultation from panel organizer.
For roundtables: Roundtables are less formal discussion forums where participants speak for a short time before engaging with audience members. Please submit a single abstract along with a list of expected participants.
For lightning talks: Lightning talks are a short talk format. Each talk will last a maximum of 5 minutes and will be included in a session with other lightning talks. The goal is to quickly, insightfully, and clearly convey your point while grabbing the audience’s attention.
For workshops: Workshops are experiential or focused sessions where participants pre-register. Please provide an abstract as well as a list of organizers, resource and space needs, and any expected costs. We, unfortunately, do not have kitchen space for participants.
For exploration gallery display and poster proposals: Graduate students, food scholars, NGOs, researchers outside the academy, artists, and other members of the community are welcome to propose works for the 2017 Exploration Gallery. All media are welcome, including installations, print and other visual forms, audio, posters, and other works of art and design. A limited number of screen-based submissions will be accepted.
Notifications of acceptance will be provided by Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Attendees are expected to register by Sunday, April 30, 2017. For inclusion on the final program, at least one author from each submission must be registered as an attendee. Attendees must be members of AFHVS or ASFS at the time of the conference. The conference organizers regret that we are unable to provide travel support for meeting participation. Multiple submissions from an author are allowed, though we reserve the right to limit acceptance of multiple submissions by any one author. Space for workshops is limited and will be determined based on available resources.
Follow this link to submit an abstract.
Please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, June 14
All Day Conference Begins! Check-In and Registration Open
All Day Pre-Conference Field Trips
Evening Official Conference Welcome Reception
Thursday, June 15
All Day Registration Open
All Day Concurrent Sessions
Evening Grad Student Social Event
Friday, June 16
All Day Registration Open
All Day Concurrent Sessions
Morning AHV and FCS Journal Board Meetings
Afternoon Individual Association Business Meetings: AFHVS/ASFS
Evening Keynote Address
Saturday, June 17
All Day Registration Open
All Day Concurrent Sessions
Morning Joint AFHVS/ASFS Business Meeting
Afternoon Presidential Addresses and Awards Presentation
Students! Check out these awards for undergraduate and graduate essays from the Association for the Study of Food and Society. These are great opportunities for fame and recognition. If you have been studying and writing about food and have an essay, you should submit it. A brief summary is below, along with a link to the web site with complete details on how to apply. The deadline is February 1, 2017.
The ASFS invites current undergraduate and graduate students to submit a paper for the William Whit (undergraduate) and Alex McIntosh (graduate) prizes, respectively. These awards recognize students’ contributions to the field of food studies. There will be one award each for an undergraduate student paper and a graduate student paper. ASFS welcomes submissions on a wide range of issues relating to food, society and culture, and from the diverse disciplinary and trans-disciplinary fields that ASFS encompasses. The author of each award-winning paper will receive:
- payment of annual membership and conference fees to be applied to the following year if student is not attending in the current year
- a free banquet ticket for the coming year’s annual meeting or the following year’s if a ticket has already been purchased or the student is not attending the conference in the current year; and
- the opportunity to present prize-winning papers at an ASFS/AFHVS conference. Winners who wish to present the year they receive their award must have submitted a conference abstract in that same year.
- Authors are highly encouraged to simultaneously submit an abstract to the ASFS/AFHVS conference by the conference deadline. Conference organizers cannot add your paper to an already completed program; you MUST submit an abstract by the deadline.
- Prize winning papers may be presented at an ASFS/AFHVS conference within two years of award. Those prize winners who submit a conference abstract in the subsequent two years, should indicate their award status (year and name of award) with the abstract.
- Prize winners may also postpone their registration and banquet ticket use for one year following the award.
Deadline for Annual Submission (all required material): February 1. NO Exceptions! Electronic submissions ONLY!
For complete details, visit this site.