Good conferences are sources of community and reflection, affirmation and critical discussion, exhilaration and satisfying exhaustion. #OXYFOOD17, the 2017 annual meeting and conference of the Association for the Study and Food and Society (ASFS) and the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS), was all this and so much more.
Hosted at Occidental College in Los Angeles, #OXYFOOD17 was the result of more than a year of planning by the conference team lead by John Lang. The writable walls in Johnson Hall welcomed us upon arrival (with a food pun), “All your wildest dreams have come to fruition.”
The event brought together hundreds of scholars from around the world, many motivated by the conference’s theme, Migrating Food Cultures. As ASFS President Krishnendu Ray remarked in his Presidential Address, the conference theme spoke to many of the most pressing food issues of our time, including food chain labor—not coincidentally the topic of the conference’s plenary panel, hosted and moderated by Evan Kleiman—and food policies, as articulated by Sharon Friel in her keynote address on how trade and investment affect food, nutrition, and health.
The conference theme and papers presented also addressed global flows of peoples, politics, ideas, knowledges, statuses, and identities. To pursue food studies and food systems now is to engage with these key concerns in all their plurality—to grapple with their stakes in our research, our teaching, and our service to communities both inside and outside of the academy.
With tools like the conference social media guide and resources from the “Social Media for Scholars” roundtable that I co-hosted with Katherine Hysmith and Fabio Parasecoli, our ASFS Twitter presence grows stronger and more lively each year. As a result, I’ve been able to craft more (and more dynamic) Storify stories from roundtables and panels throughout the conference in order to archive our event—here are the stories from last year’s conference, for reference.
Below are stories for sessions that I particularly enjoyed and learned from, but there were so many others. Check out #OXYFOOD17 on Twitter for the full feed of tweets. And if you create a post-conference Storify or blog post, please let me know and I’ll happily add it to the list!
- #OXYFOOD17 Pre-Conference Food Writing Workshops including Jonathan Gold and Laurie Ochoa’s “Dessert Is Not an Ending: Food Writing in the Age of Instagram” and Betty Fussell’s “Migrating Media: Byting Words”
- Professional Development Roundtable: Navigating Academia as an Early Food Studies or Food Systems Scholar organized by the Graduate Association for Food Studies and the AFHVS Graduate Student Committee
- Professional Development Roundtable: What Do Book Publishers Want? featured comments from seven of the leading publishers in food studies and food systems. For reference, here is the Storify for the 2016 roundtable on the same topic
- Roundtable: Social Media for Scholars with remarks from Emily Contois, Katherine Hysmith, and Fabio Parasecoli
- Food and Gender at #OXYFOOD17 including “Food Masculinities: Practices, Discourses, and Representations” (my panel (yay!) with Fabio Parasecoli, Megan Elias, and Alice Julier) and “Gendering Food Consumption and Production” (Joylin Namie, Jeffery Sobal, Julia Haramis, Laura Hoffman, and Elissa Johnson)
- Food Studies Pedagogy at #OXYFOOD17 including “Teaching Food Activism in Los Angeles” (Gillian Grebler and Sarah Portnoy), “Building ‘Engaged Pedagogies’: Foodways of Race, Ethnicity, and Diaspora” (Meredith Abarca, Scott Alves Barton, and Patricia E. Clark with discussant Kyla Wazana Tompkins), and Food Studies/Design/Pedagogy (Charlotte Biltekoff, Fabio Parasecoli, and Sonia Massari)
- (Re)Value in Critical Eating Studies: On Discard, Waste, and Metabolism with presentations by Sarah Tracy, Rachel Vaughn, and Hi’ilei Julia Hobart with comments from discussant Kyla Wazana Tompkins
- AFHVS & ASFS Presidential Addresses at #OXYFOOD17 with remarks from Leland Glenna (AFHVS) and Krishnendu Ray (ASFS)
- Roundtable: Migration Stories: Voice, Representation, and Community Relations in Public History with remarks from Ashley Rose Young, Paula Johnson, Sara Wood, Tracey Mitchell, Gloria Rodriguez, and Polly Adema
- Rhetoric and Narrative with presentations by Natsuko Tsujimura, Darcy Mullen, Rocco Marinaccio, Anna Sekine, and Catherine Peters
Beyond incredible panels, discussions, events, and networking, #OXYFOOD17 was also a lot of fun, full of delicious meals, gorgeous California weather, and friends old and new.
I already can’t wait for next year’s conference and hope you’ll join us at the University of Wisconsin, Madison!