Food Studies Panel at PAMLA in Portland, OR

deadline for submissions: 
May 31, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Edward Chamberlain
contact email: 

*Call for abstracts - Studies of Food in Literature and Media 

*Conference - Pacific Ancient & Modern Language Association 

*Dates - October 26th-29th 2023

*Location - Hilton Portland Downtown, Oregon USA 

*Overview - For the upcoming PAMLA conference, we will be hosting a panel of food studies research, which will focus on food in literature and media. This panel aims to bring together a range of perspectives for the sake of examining the roles of food in literary texts and media such as film and television. We seek abstracts that speak to the following questions and subjects. What roles do food and food studies play in our analyses of culture, literature, and media? How does food experience shape our creative expression and daily lives? A number of authors offer us notable examples of culinary imagery and stories including writers such as Audre Lorde, who writes about the use of spices at home and food eaten outside the home. We can also consider Edith Wharton’s voluptuous description of an urbane businessman’s luncheon: "leisurely degustation... a bit of Camembert at the ideal point of liquefaction... one beringed white hand steadying the lid of the coffee-pot... the decanter of cognac at his elbow...” (“The Other Two,” 1904). Likewise, we could look to George Orwell’s bleak depiction of a public flop house meal: “always the same, whether breakfast, dinner or supper – half a pound of bread, a bit of margarine, and a pint of so-called tea. [On Sunday, perhaps two cold boiled potatoes.]It took us five minutes to gulp down the cheap, noxious food” (“The Spike,” 1931).

How do food and drink venues contribute to the mise-en-scène of a literary or cinematic work? How does food, in all its physical and metaphorical manifestations, democratize, hierarchize, ennoble, or degrade literary characters and social classes? Topics of special interest in this Food Studies session include some of the following: food and aesthetics; food, culture, and religion; historical treatment of food and drink; and food and popular culture. We especially encourage papers that address some facet of the conference theme - “Shifting Perspectives" - for the sake of tapping into ideas of the ongoing changes in the world around us. 

*Submitting abstracts: To submit an abstract, please create an account and login to the following page -

*Deadline - May 31st 2023

*Information on the organization  

*Questions? Please feel free to reach out to this session's presiding officer - Dr. Edward Chamberlain - by emailing ec10(at)uw(dot)edu