Call for Papers: 'Food for Thought' Symposium, US

Deadline: 30 May 2013
Open to: Scholars from all disciplines are welcome to apply, but organizers especially welcome contributions from history, literary and cultural (including film and media) studies, and anthropology
Venue: 7-8 February 2014 at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas (USA)

Description

The Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies in cooperation with the Department of History and the Center for European Studies at the University of Texas at Austin are hosting a one-two day symposium on the culture of food in the Russian Empire (and Soviet Union) and its successor states as well as “Eastern Europe” broadly defined.

This symposium, “Food for Thought: Culture and Cuisine in Russia and Eastern Europe, 1800-present,” will be held at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas (USA) from 7-8 February 2014. 

Drawing on a wide range of sources and disciplines, speakers will explore how patterns of food cultivation, preparation, and consumption are embedded in local, national, and trans-national cultural configurations. The organizers hope to reexamine the history and culture of the region through the lens of its food – that is, cultural attitudes, marketing and packaging, memories and representations of particular foods, patterns of eating, cultural dietary restrictions, or local cultural difference that were expressed through divergent patterns of food preparation and consumption.

How was food as “tradition” experienced, how was its cultivation and production gendered, how was it tied to religious or ethnic differentiation, in what ways was it processed, “packaged” or otherwise modernized-for example, tied to global patterns and flows?

How was it tied to private and public socialization – the kitchen versus the restaurant or cafeteria and what did this mean for local or national cultures? How was food depicted in film and literature, described in cookbooks, marketed at home and abroad? Did food take on new meanings-cultural, political, or otherwise-under communism? And finally, what about food culture or food nostalgia after communism? They hope for creative approaches to these and other questions related to the production, consumption, exchange, and service of food in Russia and Eastern Europe from 1800-present.

The symposium will feature Dr. Ronald LeBlanc as Keynote Speaker “From Russian Vegetarians to Soviet Hamburgers: Tolstoy, Mikoyan, and the Ethics/Politics of Diet.” Ronald D. LeBlanc is Professor of Russian and Humanities at the University of New Hampshire and Center Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. The author of “Slavic Sins of the Flesh: Food, Sex, and Carnal Appetite in Nineteenth-Century Russian Fiction” (2009), Professor LeBlanc has written numerous “gastrocritical” studies on food and eating in the works of such writers as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gogol, Goncharov, Bulgakov, and Olesha.

Eligibility

Scholars from all disciplines are welcome to apply, but organizers especially welcome contributions from history, literary and cultural (including film and media) studies, and anthropology.

Application

Please submit the following by May 30, 2013 to [email protected] :

  1. Title
  2. One paragraph abstract
  3. 3 page cv
  4. Request for funding. – Specify requested dollar amount, and whether participation is contingent on funding.

Limited funds are available for travel and accommodation costs. They will try to partially (or in some cases completely) fund as many speakers as possible, but we also ask that participants draw on their own conference funds if possible.

For questions or more information you may contact the organizers Mary Neuburger (University of Texas Department of History) at [email protected]; Keith Livers (University of Texas Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies) at  [email protected]; or Tatiana Kuzmic (University of Texas Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies) at [email protected]

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