Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Foodways and Identity: Conference on Food and Drink Traditions

Foodways and Identity: Conference on Food and Drink Traditions
4-8 December 2017, Copenhagen, Denmark

This international academic conference explores how traditions involving food and drink help shape and maintain cultural identity across the globe.

Everyone eats. Yet cultures around the world have developed strikingly different traditions surrounding food and drinks, ranging from customs concerning the slaughtering of animals to food preparation, snacks, meals, and toasts. Foodways may be localised, but they have also long been globalised, with ancient trading routes supplying vital and luxury ingredients and produce between far-flung destinations: Bronze Age salt roads, ancient intercontinental spice routes, and the Classical Mediterranean's wine and garum trades all evidence the historical significance of food and drink for ancient economies and societies.

Eating and drinking customs continue to intermingle and influence one another to this day through the increased ease with which peoples and their foods and drinks can be transported across the globe. At the same time, however, people are still embracing elements of their traditional (or purportedly traditional) foodways as a means of reinforcing and sustaining cultural identities. In multicultural cities, this is true for both immigrant and native populations. It is thus that, for example, the immigration-driven flourishing of foreign foodways in Copenhagen has occurred alongside revitalised or possibly invented traditions of ultra-localism, most notably in the form of the so-called 'New Nordic cuisine.

This conference will consider the ways in which food and drink traditions interact with one another and with the cultures among which they occur. Special emphasis will be placed on the role played by foodways in the maintenance and changing of identity.

About the conference: Foodways and Identity allows delegates to contextualise knowledge and engage with community members. On 4-6 December, delegates will explore Copenhagen's foodways. We will speak with local producers, retailers, and restaurateurs, but we will also dive into the diversity of food and drink traditions across Copenhagen's various neighbourhoods. Delegates will get a great taste of Copenhagen identity: traditional Danish restaurants, Arab markets, hip organic café culture, Eastern European immigrant fare, the high and low cultures of the 'New Nordic cuisine', old-fashioned Danish bars, outdoor Christmas markets, and much more. Delegates will also visit Tivoli Gardens, a historic amusement park that has developed into a key site for Danish identity building and cultural expression. Conference presentations take place on 7-8 December.

How to make a presentation: Presentations are welcome on all aspects of food and drink traditions from any cultures. The deadline for abstracts is 30 April 2017, but to take advantage of early registration rates and ensure that you have time to seek funding from your institution or government, we recommend that you submit your abstract early (http://islanddynamics.org/foodwaysconference/cfp.html).

Enquiries: info@islanddynamics.org
Web address: http://www.islanddynamics.org/foodwaysconference.html
Sponsored by: Island Dynamics & VerdensKulturCentret (World Cultural Centre)

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