2nd Global Conference: Making Sense of: Food (November 2013: Athens, Greece)

full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Rob Fisher/ Inter-Disciplinary.Net

2nd Global Conference
Making Sense of: Food

Monday 4th November 2013 – Wednesday 6th November 2013
Athens, Greece

Call for Presentations
'You are what you eat' is a saying that usually signifies the influence of diet on health and well-being. When we turn this adage around – 'What you eat is what you are' – we see more clearly the broader implications of our ways with food. Our history and culture as well as our economic and social circumstances determine, and in turn are reflected in, the nature of our food consumption. The same applies to our personal beliefs and predispositions. Eating is an everyday necessity – and yet there is an immense variety in the manner in which we nourish ourselves. Furthermore, mostly due to circumstances beyond our control, not all of us humans have access to adequate nutrition. It follows that eating requires our attention, one way or another, throughout our lives, pleasantly for some, and desperately for others. Indeed, it has been observed that in rich societies people obsess about food because they have too much, and in poor societies they think about it all the time because they have too little.

The vicissitudes of consumption do not constitute the whole story about food. What ends up on the plate has usually arrived there after a long and complex journey which involves not only time and distance – again, variably so – but also a multitude of processes. The extent to which these are understood is by no means equal in all societies and cultures; some people live much closer to their food supply than others, and/or are more personally active in its production and preparation. Food is central to the economy of social systems at all levels; on global scale, food is deeply implicated in the overall economic and political circumstances of the contemporary world.

The inter-disciplinary project seeks to open up a multi-faceted enquiry into the ways in which food and its consumption are enmeshed in all aspects of human existence. Certainly to-day there is no shortage of commentaries on this subject, both in the public arena and within academia, and there is broad recognition of the place of food in the globalised economy – as well as of its role in discourses about international inequalities, climate change and public health issues. A focus on the perceived problems of the day, however, often results in specific 'fields' of study where the high level of activity, productive though it is, may create barriers to an understanding of different perspectives. This project will provide a framework for a broadly based dialogue concerning food and eating. It is our hope that this will put on our table a variety of matters to be considered at a number of levels and from many different points of view.

Presentations, papers, performances, work-in-progress and workshops are invited on any issues related to the following themes:

Food and existential matters:
-Eating and evolution
-Food and group identity: food as manifestation of cultural origins and influences
-Food as transmigration, diaspora and de-colonialism.
-Food and ritual
-Eating as a need and as a want: what is appetite?
-Food and philosophy

Representations of food and eating:
-The histories of food; repasts of the past
-Reflections of food and eating in literature
-Food and the performing arts
-Portrayals of consumption in visual culture
-Food and the modern media
-Food as metaphor

Eating and well-being:
-Fearing food – fears and facts
-Beliefs and controversies about food and wellness
-Health, illness and food in medical discourses
-The magic of food – ancient and modern; food as fetish
-The role of 'expert' advice in eating practices
-'Diets' – disturbed eating patters or rational action?

Food and society:
-Food at the interface with class and culture
-The politics of food production and consumption
-Food security: issues of quantity and quality
-The industrialisation of food production and its counter-movements
-'Foodism': conspicuous consumption, or identity management?

Working with food:
-Food production and provision; pleasures and problems
-The restaurant: guests' perspective
-Cooking and serving for customers
-Being a chef: the reality and the mystique
-Behind the counter of the gourmet store
-The daily bread; making and baking

What to Send:
300 word abstracts or presentation proposals should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs by Friday 14th June 2013 abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract.
E-mails should be entitled: FOOD2 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs

Don Sanderson: mark181a@bigpond.com
Rob Fisher: food2@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the Making Sense of: programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.

For further details of the conference, please visit:

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.