Tuesday, January 29, 2008


UC forms "Studies of Food and the Body" Multi-Campus Research Group


Studies of Food and the Body


The Studies of Food and the Body Multi Campus Research Group, hosted at the Davis Humanities Institute at UC Davis, brings together faculty and graduate-student scholars in the humanities and social sciences from UC Davis, UC Berkeley, and UC Santa Cruz who are exploring the relationship between food, the body and culture. Participants include historians, American Studies scholars, performance artists, cultural geographers, anthropologists, and sociologists. Their individual projects address a variety of questions, cultures, and historical moments. Some of these currently underway include a visual documentary of the role of immigrant labor in the U.S. food economy, an assessment of the importance of gardening in contemporary Russia, an inquiry into whether there is an actual “obesity epidemic” in the U.S., an analysis of Chinese-American cookbook writers, and an exploration of common threads across a century of “nutrition reform movements” in the United States. This collaboration has been created to strengthen the work of individual members through works in progress seminars, to draw attention to the critical mass of food scholars on the three northern California campuses, to provide focused mentoring to graduate students in this area, and to open a dialogue between humanities and science scholars, and the public, on food and body concerns through a culminating interdisciplinary conference to be held in the spring of 2010 at UC Davis.

Friday, January 11, 2008


CFP: The Meaning of Food

CFP: The Meaning of Food: Culinary Choices as Expressions of Cultural Values
Rocky Mountain MLA, Reno, October 9-11, 2008

As increasing numbers of artists and citizens turn their attention to the
ways that our food choices convey and contest personal and cultural
values, this panel seeks papers that analyze representations of food,
food production, and/or food ritual. The panel is open to discussions of
the representation of food in fiction, non-fiction, or film or to
comparative approaches that engage with the question of the meaning of
food choices (or lack of choices).

Please email 300 word abstract by March 1 to Laura White at

Monday, January 07, 2008


CSFC: The Future of Wine History 2.7.2008

On February 7, 2008 the DHI Research Cluster: Critical Studies in Food and Culture presents…

The Future of Wine History:
a discussion on the position of culture in
Robert Mondavi’s Mission.

a screening of

The Mission
(Crowley & Associates/Mediawest, 1989)

with an introduction by

Axel Borg
Wine Bibliography and Librarian
University of California, Davis

and commentary and discussion with

David Michalski
Graduate Student in Cultural Studies
University of California, Davis

Thursday 4-6pm
February 7th, 2008
3201 Hart Hall
UC Davis

In the late 1980s the Robert Mondavi Winery embarked upon a project known as the Mission. Part public relations campaign and part manifesto, the Mission called on the California wine industry to promote wine as a steadfast companion to humanity. It insisted, that in the hands of master craftspeople, wine could be as distinguished and as noble as any of the arts.

For Robert Mondavi, the advancement of wine quality in California depended on this promotion of wine’s cultural legacy, one that connected the work of Californian vintners to a history of wine that stretched back to antiquity and continued through the great estates of modern France.

Against neo-prohibitionists and others, the Robert Mondavi winery drew from the history of the arts to establish wine as an aesthetic object, endowed with positive cultural values.

In this presentation we will screen one part of this larger campaign, a ten minute film called _The Mission_ wherein the Mondavi family makes its case that wine quality and a knowledge and understanding of wine culture are coextensive.

The film will be introduced by Axel Borg, who will historicize _The Mission_ by providing the context of its making, as well as insight into the relations between Robert Mondavi, the wider California wine industry, and the University of California, Davis.

Following the screening, David Michalski will lead a commentary and discussion on the concept of history and culture introduced in _The Mission_, the implications such conceptions have for wine aesthetics, and the possibilities they present to our contemporary understanding of wine and wine history.

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