Kalamazoo 2014: Miller, Baker, Tapstress, Cook: Medieval Communities of Food Service and Production

full name / name of organization: 
Heather Blatt (FIU) and Stefanie Goyette (MIT)

CALL FOR PAPERS—49th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, 2014
Western Michigan University, May 8-11, 2014

Miller, Baker, Tapstress, Cook: Medieval Communities of Food Service and Production

From Kit the Tapstress in "The Canterbury Interlude," Rose the Disher in Piers Plowman, and the tavern-keepers, butchers, millers and their patrons in the Old French fabliaux, to Lydgate's "Against Millers and Bakers" and the practical advice of Le Ménagier de Paris, medieval literary texts and manuals for conduct suggest a particular interest in food service workers and their role in their communities. But what is the figurative work of such characters? How are they situated as within or outside, essential to or in excess of the community? Furthermore, how do they comment on the culture and, more significantly, the communities of food production and consumption in late medieval literature?

This panel seeks papers that explore these and other questions dealing with the relations between foods as objects and those who produce or consume them. Above all, we invite consideration of how the various roles of the purveyors of food can contribute to our comprehension of food's complex identity in medieval societies and cultures - and in our own. In the interest of interdisciplinary inquiry, this panel seeks to bring together specialists in history, cultural anthropology, archeology, and medieval literature of various national traditions to consider the literary, visual, and social roles of food service workers in the Middle Ages.

We welcome one-page proposals (250-300 words) from scholars of all levels. They may be sent along with a completed Participant Information Form (found at http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html) to Dr. Stefanie Goyette (stefaniegoyette@gmail.com) and Dr. Heather Blatt (hblatt@fiu.edu) by September 15, 2013. For general information about the 2014 Medieval Congress, visit: http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/.

Please include your name, title, and affiliation on the abstract itself.

Deadline: September 15, 2013