Tag Archives: religion

Christine Wilson Award Winner, Part II

Yesterday we announced this year’s winner of the 2016 Christine Wilson Undergraduate Award and today we are proud to announce the winner of the 2016 Christine Wilson Graduate Award.This award goes to outstanding research papers by graduate students writing from the various perspectives embraced by Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition, including nutrition, food studies and ethnography.

Congratulations to Imogen Bevan, from the University of Edinburgh, winner of this year’s graduate Christine Wilson Award, for her essay “Care is Meat and Tatties, Not Curry.” Her bio and an abstract for her essay are below.

Quick reminder: if you are a student who will be writing food research essays, consider applying next year!

The awards will be formally presented at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, this week, in Minneapolis! Please attend the SAFN reception, award ceremony, and distinguished speaker event on Saturday evening (11/19) to learn more about the winners and the awards. That will start at 7:45pm in room 101A.

Bio

Imogen Bevan is a postgraduate student in medical anthropology at the University of Edinburgh. Imogen has conducted ethnographic research in France and in Britain, focusing on experiences of the body and examining how different substances are incorporated through social practices. During her master’s in social anthropology at the University of Lyon, Imogen participated in a joint program with the University of Amsterdam, becoming a junior researcher on Anita Hardon’s ChemicalYouth team. Her published ethnographic work examines people’s lived experiences of smoking and e-cigarette use in France, and the socialities that emerge through engagements with non-medicalised forms of substitution. This study experimented with sensory and creative visual methods to explore what technologies and substances might do for their users in social context.

Imogen’s master’s dissertation at Edinburgh and projected PhD research explore the role of sugar in social relationships in Scotland. This research asks how the value of sugar consumption is produced through everyday practices in different contexts of consumption, at a time when global health institutions denounce sugar’s nutritional ‘emptiness’ and aetiological role in the onset of obesity, diabetes type 2 and dental disease.

Imogen’s interests include anthropology of the body, sensory anthropology, health and well-being, kinship studies, and visual methods.

Abstract

Care is Meat and Tatties, Not Curry

This paper examines the way care is enacted by members of a Church of Scotland congregation through food provision and food preparation practices in Edinburgh. This ethnography compares three activities: The Foodbank, an informal weekly food distribution, and a non-profit café, sited in the parish church’s halls. Exploring an informant’s assertion that the church does not give people “any old food”, I chart the lives of different foods as they travel from supermarket shelves to church storage rooms, as they are transformed into emergency parcels, a hot meal, or iced display cakes – in the aim of improving the well-being of members of the community.

While the Trussel Trust’s standardised Foodbank guidelines are calculated in terms of dietary values, my study shows that in order to provide care, congregation members also work with other values – the palatability, familiarity, practicality, aesthetic and monetary values of food, eaters’ dignity, individual taste preferences and cooking technologies, as well as volunteers’ available time and physical safety. Some overlapped seamlessly, others clashed.  In all three settings, food-related care emerges as an ongoing compromise between competing contextual motives – a practice involving attention to detail, adjustments and extensive and tinkering.

Congregation members’ adjustable care goes beyond the marginalised individual. Through food, people are also caring for the survival of their church as a relevant institution, and its halls as a ‘living’ building. By grappling with what they see as the dangers of lack of money, lack of social interaction, or lack of culinary knowledge, congregation members ground their church within national and local networks, assigning the church an active role in changing community.

Written as an essay for a MSc ethnographic methods class, this study was conducted as exploratory fieldwork for my projected PhD research, which examines the value of sugar consumption in social relationships in urban Scotland.

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Filed under anthropology, anthropology of food, awards, Christine Wilson

Research Colloquium: Climate Change, Food and Human Sustainability

The following notice was received here at FoodAnthropology and may be of interest to our readers with interests in theological matters:

The 2016 CrossCurrents / Auburn Research Colloquium will be held in July in New York City. Research fellows work on a research or writing project related to the theme of “Climate Change, Food, and Human Sustainability,” with access to libraries and research facilities at Columbia University, Union, Auburn, and Jewish Theological Seminaries.

We invite applications from scholars and writers, artists and activists, as well as those involved in the not-for-profit sector, interested in faith-rooted efforts to shape a more just and peaceful world. While our theme is sufficiently broad to include a wide variety of topics, we are particularly interested in projects that connect with what Pope Francis, in his Encyclical Laudato Si: On Care of our Common Home, called “integral ecology.” This begins with the recognition that humanity now faces an existential crisis on multiple fronts: extreme economic disparity, increased competition for resources including land and water, a severely degraded natural world, failing nation states, and a climate on the verge of spinning out of control. Such circumstances require bold and imaginative responses. Successful applicants will outline projects that illuminate the nature of the crisis or suggest innovative solutions, or both.

Individual (or team) research projects are the focus of the fellowship, with late afternoon seminars, followed by shared dinners that allow ample time for conversation and collaboration.

For further information including application see:  http://www.crosscurrents.org/colloquium.html

The deadline for applying is February 2, 2016. Please visit the web site for answers to your questions or contact information.

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CFP: Putting the Cult back into Food Culture!

Food Cults

Call for Chapter Proposals

Editor:  Kima Cargill, University of Washington

Publisher:  Rowman & Littlefield/Food & Gastronomy Series

Series Editor: Ken Albala

Chapter Proposal Submission Deadline:  April 1, 2015

Book Overview:

Food Cults is an interdisciplinary edited volume which will explore questions of domestic and international, contemporary and historic food communities characterized by extreme nutritional beliefs, often viewed as “fringe” movements by mainstream culture.  While there are a variety of scholarly accounts of such food communities across disciplines, there is no single collection that pulls together these works, nor that anchors such communities in a theory of why we gravitate toward such groups and the social, economic, nutritional and psychological functions they serve.  Studying the extreme beliefs and practices of such food cults allows us to see the ways in which food serves as a nexus for religious beliefs, sexuality, death anxiety, preoccupation with the body, asceticism, and hedonism, to name a few.  Moreover, in contrast to religious and political cults, food cults have the added dimension of mediating cultural trends in nutrition and diet through their membership.

I suggest the term ‘cult’ as a dynamic one, and not necessarily a derogatory one.  I invite contributors to define culthood for themselves, perhaps ultimately rejecting it for the group they study.  Moreover, some contributors might argue that some of the dominant culture’s beliefs and practices surrounding food should be consigned to culthood, such as the cult of sugar, the cult of meat, or the cult of junk food.  While certainly many contributors will address cultural trends and fads, food cults differ from food fads in that membership in a food cult becomes a central organizer of one’s identity and revolves around a group dogma or ideology.  Cults of any kind function much like religion, often providing a conversion experience, a charismatic leader, collective identity, and a community of “worship” (either in person or increasingly online).  Like religion, cults provide a way to find meaning in confusing situations, like eating.

Pending submissions, the volume will likely be organized into two sections.  Section I (Theories and History of Food Cults) will include general survey chapters from multiple disciplines, such as anthropology, nutrition, theology, sociology, economics, and history.  Chapters in Section II (Historic and Contemporary Food Cults) will have more narrow foci, examining specific groups and practices.  These chapters might address topics such as:

  • Raw food diets
  • Psychoactive foods
  • Biblical diets (and/or other historical replication diets):
  • Disgust (culturally inappropriate food practices)
  • Supplements
  • Exotic game/endangered species
  • Poisonous/toxic food ingestion
  • Pet foods and pet diets
  • Muscle building/masculinity
  • Asceticism
  • Tapeworm/parasite diets

Submission Guidelines:

Length of each complete chapter manuscript: Each complete chapter manuscript must be between 4,000 and (no more than) 5,000 words, inclusive of the main text and references.

All submissions should include two documents: a Chapter Proposal and a separate CV of no more than three pages. The Chapter Proposal must contain (a) a working title of the proposed chapter, and (b) an 800 to 1,000-word exposition consisting of a clear description of the proposed chapter, including an annotated outline of the proposed chapter. Also include with your submission a separate CV of no more than three pages.

Submission format: All submissions must be written in English and prepared in accordance with Chicago Style. Please submit your documents in the MS Word file format as an attached document.

Please send your Chapter Proposal and CV in the same email on or before April 1, 2015 to Kima Cargill (kcargill@uw.edu)

Notification of acceptance status of chapter proposals: April 15, 2015

Submission deadline of complete chapters: on or before October 1, 2015

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Filed under culture, Food Studies, religion