All posts tagged: conference

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 …

The Dietary Innovation & Disease Conference: A Debrief

Last week, I presented at a history of nutrition conference that took place on San Servolo, a small island about a ten minute boat ride off of Venice that for more than two hundred years housed an asylum. San Servolo proved a most fitting and inspiring setting for the Dietary Innovation and Disease in the 19th and 20th Centuries conference. We heard the lapping waters of the Venice lagoon, felt its cool breezes, and even saw a cruise ship or two pass by, all while listening to thought-provoking paper presentations at an academic conference. Co-organized by David Gentilcore and Matthew Smith, the well-executed event brought together thirty scholars from across the world, all working to unpack today’s nutrition issues through the study of dietary innovation and health in the past. As for me, I presented some of my new work on Fairlife milk, an “ultra-filtered” lactose-free milk with more protein and calcium and less sugar than “ordinary milk,” that just so happens to be distributed by Coca-Cola. Fairlife is a textbook example of what Gyorgy Scrinis calls “functional nutritionism,” in which the food industry seeks …

CFP: Critical Nutrition Studies Panel at ASFS 2016

If you engage critical nutrition studies in your work, my colleague Stephanie Maroney (PhD Candidate, Cultural Studies, UC Davis) and I welcome your submissions to join our panel submission to the ASFS/AFHVS/CAFS conference to be held June 22-26, 2016 in Toronto. The panel, “Interrogating Nutritionism and Dietary Science in Novel Food Products,” examines the discursive effects of the marketing for two novel food products: FairLife Milk (Emily) and the Human Food Bar (Stephanie). The panel explores the relationship between the cultural values that animate these advertising messages and the scientific research that supports these products.   Drawing from the field of Science and Technology Studies, critical studies of nutrition recognize and reveal the ways that scientific knowledge is not neutral, natural, or objective – rather, it is co-constituted alongside sociocultural values and beliefs. By looking at the history and politics of dietary advice, we can better explain and account for the assumptions that structure contemporary nutrition science and the marketing claims used to differentiate products in our health-centric culture. We seek additional papers that critically examine …

Conference Save the Date: Graduate Association for Food Studies, October ’15

Mark those calendars people! The Future of Food Studies, the first conference of the Graduate Association for Food Studies, will be held 23-25 October 2015, at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The conference will include a keynote talk by Fabio Parasecoli, food studies scholar and coordinator of the Food Studies program at the New School, as well as graduate student panels that you won’t want to miss. The conference theme directly engages the complexity of food studies’ status as a “burgeoning” field, as so many characterize it. With roots in the late 1980s, food studies has consistently gathered steam—as well as a critical mass of articles, dedicated monographs, professional organizations, journals, and university programs—with more opportunities surfacing each year. The conference will engage these changes, actively pondering what the future of the discipline holds, conceptually, methodologically, and publicly. Graduate students are encouraged to submit paper and panel proposals by the CFP deadline of 31 May 2015. And I welcome everyone interested in the future of food studies to mark your calendars and plan to join us at Harvard in October. Please share widely—including this snazzy save …

The Food Heritage, Hybridity & Locality Conference

The Food Heritage, Hybridity, and Locality Conference, which was held here at Brown University, October 23-25, 2014. This exciting event brought together presenters from throughout the United States and across the globe, whose work explores the intersection of tradition, place, and the dynamic processes of fusion, melding, and hybridization that create new food phenomena. Providence, Rhode Island proved a unique host for this conference—and not just because it has earned top rankings among Travel and Leisure’s America’s favorite food cities. As the conference call for papers states so well, waves of immigration have fashioned Rhode Island food culture into a unique hybrid, marked by such gastronomic wonders as Rhode Island chowder, whose clear broth defies both cream and tomato-based conventions, and Johnnycakes, cornmeal cakes whose origins are a complex combination of worlds both old and new. Even local, homegrown favorites fuse the conference’s themes of heritage, hybridity, and locality, like Del’s lemonade, a lemon flavored Italian ice sold from distinctive mobile units that first set up shop in Cranston, Rhode Island in 1948, and coffee milk, a beverage very deservedly Rhode Island’s state drink. Rhode Island provides additional examples, including the chow …

17 Conference Tips for Graduate Students

I’m freshly returned from “Collaboration and Innovation Across the Food System,” the joint annual meeting and conference of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society, held last week on the gorgeous campus of the University of Vermont. Since it was my third year attending this conference, I noticed how my conference experience has evolved and thought I’d share some tips for ensuring the most satisfying, productive, and engaging conference experience as a graduate student. Before the Conference 1. Study the program. Depending on the conference, there can be dozens upon dozens of panels to choose from. If you scramble to choose what session to attend the day of (or just follow your friends from session to session), you won’t have the best experience. Choose panels based upon presenters you’d like to meet, topics that align with you own research interests, or topics that fill in gaps in your own knowledge. If you have time, google folks beforehand so you can make the most informed panel selections possible. 2. Prep …

Graduate Food Studies Programs: A List

I began keeping this list of graduate food studies program after a fascinating roundtable discussion titled, “Masters Programs in Food Studies, Food Systems, and Food Policy,” at the 2013 joint meeting of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and the Agriculture, Food & Human Values Society at Michigan State University in East Lansing. During this discussion, the directors of seven graduate food programs debated the key issues emerging in graduate food education. They were also asked by a session attendee to summarize each program’s distinguishing features, which I’ve summarized here in the hopes it might prove useful for any students currently weighing their options for graduate study in food. Note: I’ve been keeping this list as current as possible. Last update: July 17, 2016 Boston University, MLA in Gastronomy  Location: Boston, MA Program Director: Megan Elias, Ph.D. Program History: Co-founded in the 1990s by Julia Child & Jacques Pépin Strengths / Specialities: Focus on the liberal arts; can include culinary arts & wine study; online, blended and in-person courses; in large, research university Follow: Twitter (@GastronomyatBU); …

Forecasting a Bright Future from the 2013 Future of Food and Nutrition Graduate Conference

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the 7th annual Future of Food and Nutrition Graduate Research Conference at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Organized and run by Friedman graduate students, the conference was as engaging and polished as any put on by a professional organization. Graduate student research dealt with a host of topics both international and domestic, ranging from food access, food prices, and property values near grocery stores to behavior change and breastfeeding. Presentations that I attended also explored childhood obesity in Indonesia, regional U.S. food systems, and the latest in molecular nutrition. Students came from diverse backgrounds, including not only nutrition policy, biochemical and molecular nutrition, public health, and medicine, but also environmental science, agriculture, economics, urban and environmental planning; not to mention food studies and gastronomy as well. Collectively, presenters brought valuable multidisciplinary perspectives to the topics of food, nutrition, and food systems. Beyond attending thought provoking panels, I participated in the poster presentation, giving two-minute power pitches on the paper I …

Meat is Bad & The World is Flat: Thoughts from the Critical Nutrition Symposium

On March 8, 2013, I had the pleasure of attending the Critical Nutrition Symposium at UC Santa Cruz, organized by Julie Guthman, author of Weighing In. The event was spawned from a roundtable discussion at last year’s Association for the Study of Food and Society conference. The symposium brought together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to critically examine what is missing from conventional nutrition science research and practice, discuss why it matters, and brainstorm how to move forward in an informed and balanced way. What follows are a few of my favorite key ideas from the day’s discussions. Adele Hite, a registered dietitian and public health advocate who is not afraid to ask big and delightfully confrontational questions regarding nutrition science, began the day by dissecting Michael Pollan’s now famous aphorism—Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Step by step, she revealed the decades of revisionist myth and shaky science on which the diet most often considered healthy (one that is plant-based) is built. For example, she argued that the recommendation to eat like our grandparents is …

Cooking Up a Storm at the 2013 Cookbook Conference

The Roger Smith Cookbook Conference in New York City drew an eclectic mix of culinary scholars; food studies academics; food writers and bloggers; food photographers and stylists; cookbook writers, editors and publishers; chefs; and those hoping to become any of the above. I participated in the panel, “Cookbooks as Works of Art and Status Objects,” which explored the slew of elaborate and expensive cookbooks that have come out recently that function as coffee table books more so than cookbooks. Examples include: The French Laundry Cookbook, The Big Fat Duck Cookbook, Alinea, Eleven Madison Park, NOMA, and Modernist Cuisine. The panel also featured Kim Beeman, Jane Black, Sarah Cohn, and Anne McBride, each of us bringing a different perspective to the nature and meaning of these cookbooks. I discussed these cookbooks as extensions of the trophy kitchen, given their ornamental nature and status-making potential. I also attended several other panels, which I summarize in this post. I have captured what I found to be the most tantalizing sound bites from panelists, but I have by no means provided an …