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Association for the Study of Food and Society 2016: A Debrief

Food studies presentations, roundtables, workshops, kitchen labs, field trips, tastings, exhibits, posters, dine arounds — the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS) offered all this and more at University of Toronto Scarborough. Drawing more than 550 registrants from around the world, this year’s meeting was especially dynamic, involving ASFS along with Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society and Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition — and for the first time, the Canadian Association for Food Studies.

University of Toronto Scarborough — and its students, faculty, community, and scholarship — each embodied the conference theme: “Scarborough Fare: Global Foodways and Local Foods in a Transnational City.” Take for example SALT, a mobile resource developed by the Culinaria Research Centre at UTSC for not only finding tasty eats, but learning more about Scarborough’s immigrant communities. Or check out the digital food studies project, “Mapping Scarborough Chinatown.” And if you’re in Toronto, Culinaria’s teaching kitchen laboratory; the Philippine Food Exhibit sponsored by the Philippine Consulate General of Toronto, Canada; and the Place Settings: Diasporic Food Identities exhibit at the Doris McCarthy Gallery are all not to be missed.

No blog post could summarize the richness of this conference, but check out #foodstudies2016 on Twitter, read Janis Thiessen’s blog post summary here, and below are several Storify stories for panels that I particularly learned from and enjoyed — admittedly, shamelessly including my own panel in the mix:

The next ASFS/AFHVS conference will take place at Occidental College in Los Angeles in June 2017. I hope to see you there!

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