Thursday, June 26, 2008


Tasting Histories

Tasting Histories: Food and Drink Cultures through the Ages
Research Symposium, Graduate Workshop and Public Conference

Robert Mondavi Institute, University of California, Davis
February 28-March 1, 2009

To celebrate the October 2008 opening of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science during the 2008-09 Centennial Anniversary of the University of California, Davis, the UC Davis Humanities Institute in collaboration with the UC Multi-Campus Research Program in World History and UC Multi-Campus Research Group in Studies of Food and Body will convene a research symposium, graduate workshop and public conference examining the history of food and drink cultures in international comparative perspective. We are interested in receiving papers that explore critical issues in food and drink production and consumption and deploy a world-historical lens.

Topics could range from the science and technology of agricultural production; to the spread, relocation and domestication of animal and plant life central to human settlements; the proliferation and diversity of indigenous gastronomical cultural practices and knowledge; the development of labor systems tied to specific foodstuffs; narratives of the relationship between nutrition and the environment; food production and social activism; politics and policies pertaining to agriculture, food science, nutrition and the global economy; and local, regional and global food systems.

Our meeting will consist of five panels of pre-circulated research papers by new and established scholars in the field, including two graduate student panels sponsored by the editors of Food, Culture and Society and Gastronomica, and a number of plenary events, including public lectures, and cuisine demonstrations. All the events will be hosted in the remarkable new facilities of the Robert Mondavi Institute.

Interested parties should submit a 500 word abstract of their research project by October 1, 2008. Travel, food and accommodation costs for paper presenters will be borne by the conveners. Questions may be directed to Carolyn de la Peña (ctdelapena @ or Benjamin Lawrance (bnl @

UC Davis has a rich history of excellence in the wine and food sciences. For more than 125 years, the University of California has maintained active research and education programs in viticulture, enology and food science. No other academic institution can boast the rare combination of the premier College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, a large agricultural sector renowned for its fine wine and diverse food production, and the uniqueness of California cuisine. We look forward to welcoming you to UC Davis in our centennial year.

Carolyn de la Peña
Davis Humanities Institute

Benjamin N. Lawrance
Department of History

Clare Hasler
Robert Mondavi Institute

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