Thursday, August 25, 2011


NYT Opinion Page: Unsavory Culinary Elitism

Unsavory Culinary Elitism
Published: August 24, 2011

Bruni comments on morals, class, and the food discourse of contemporary culinary spokespeople.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


CFP: Fixing Foods in Literary Modernity

CFP: Fixing Foods in Literary Modernity--NeMLA 2012 Location: New York, United States
Call for Papers Date: 2011-12-30

Call for Papers: Fixing Foods in Literary Modernity
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 15-18, 2012-Rochester, New York

For better and for worse, modernity has surely left its mark on the food we daily eat. Two hundred years ago in 1812, Bryan Donkin purchased from a London broker the patent for canning food items inside tin containers. Within the next decade canned goods were widespread in Britain and France (Robertson 123). One hundred and fifty years ago in the spring of 1862, Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard's experiments with heating liquids eventually led to pasteurized drinks--first wine and beer and then, later, milk (Greene, Guzel-Seydim, and Seydim 88).

This panel explores how literature has addressed the last two hundred years of rapidly modernizing food--a path involving hybridization, preservation, pasteurization, synthesizing, and genetic manipulation. If Brillat-Savarin's aphorism is still telling today ("Tell me what you eat, and I shall tell you what you are"), what does literature tell us about the modern alimentary subject consuming and or pondering the foods altered by modernity? Always already integrated into our lives on multiple levels, food could not be modernized without other far reaching implications. When discussing food marked by modernity, what larger social or cultural preoccupations does literature engage? How do different authors, historical periods, literary movements, or genres posit the "the mark of modernity" on food? How might literary explorations of modernity and food inform our own contemporary food concerns?

Please send 300-500 word abstracts and a brief bio to Michael D. Becker, with "Fixing Foods in Literary Modernity" as the subject. Please include your name, affiliation, email address, and A/V requirements ($10 fee with registration).

Deadline: September 30, 2011

The 43rd annual convention will be held March 15-18th in Rochester, New York at the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown, located minutes away from convenient air, bus, and train transportation options for attendees. St. John Fisher College will serve as the host college, and the diverse array of area institutions are coordinating with conference organizers to sponsor various activities, such as celebrated keynote speakers, local events, and fiction readings.

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.

Greene, Annel K., Zeynep B. Guzel-Seydim, and Atif Can Seydim. "The Safety of Ready-to-Eat Diary Products." Ready-to-Eat Foods: Microbial Concerns and Control Measures. Ed. Andy Hwang and Lihan Huang. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis, 2010. 81-123. Print.

Roberts, Gordon L. Food Packaging: Principles and Practice. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis, 2006. Print.

Michael D. Becker
University of Rhode Island

Visit the website at


CFP: Eating and drinking in Africa before the 20th century

Eating and drinking in Africa before the 20th century: Cuisines, exchanges, social constructions Manger et boire en Afrique avant le XXe siècle. Cuisines, échanges, constructions sociales Location: France
Call for Papers Date: 2011-10-31

Published on line since April 2010 (, Afriques. Débats, méthodes et terrains d’histoire is the only journal devoted to the history of Africa before the 20th century. For its fifth thematic issue, scheduled for late 2012, Afriques is calling for papers on: “Eating and drinking in Africa before the 20th century: Cuisines, exchanges, social constructions”. Ten years will, in 2012, have passed since the publication of Cuisine et société en Afrique: histoire, saveurs, savoir-faire (M. Chastanet, F.X. Fauvelle-Aymar and D. Juhé-Beaulaton, eds.), still one of the very few books devoted to this topic. It described the history of foods, dishes, drinks and commensality in Africa. The fifth issue of Afriques would like to update this description while focusing on the period before the 20th century, as is the journal’s wont.
The deadline for sending an abstract (approximately 800 words) for a proposed article is 31 October 2011. The full article is to reach us by 31 May 2012. The fifth issue of Afriques is slated for November 2012. Please send the abstract and contribution to Thomas Guindeuil (

For more information, see on Afriques journal website (

Thomas Guindeuil
9 rue Malher
75004 PARIS
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Event: Eat History: A Symposium on the History of Food and Drink in Australia and Beyond

Eat History: A Symposium on the History of Food and Drink in Australia and Beyond - Dixon Room, State Library of New South Wales Location: Australia
Symposium Date: 2011-09-07

Join us in exploring the role of food and drink in our history. From Australia to Russia, from cupcakes to Johnny cakes, expert speakers will serve up fascinating stories about food and eating in the past.
speakers include
Barbara Santich (University of Adelaide)
Cherry Ripe
Beverley Kingston
David Christian (Macquarie University)
Penny Russell (University of Sydney)
Julie McIntyre(UNSW)
Jacqui Newling (Historic Houses Trust NSW)
Sofia Eriksson(Macquarie University)
Blake Singley (ANU)

9am - 4pm. Free event, however bookings are essential.
Email: by 5 September 2011

Presented by the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations, Macquarie University and the State Library of NSW, in association with the History Council of NSW.


CFP: Dissecting the Lower Sensorium: Understanding Smell, Taste, and Touch in Renaissance Literature

Dissecting the Lower Sensorium: Understanding Smell, Taste, and Touch in Renaissance Literature (NEMLA March 15-18, 2012; Rochester, NY) Location: New York, United States
Conference Date: 2011-09-30

Dissecting the Lower Sensorium: Understanding Smell, Taste, and Touch in Renaissance Literature
This NeMLA seminar will examine Renaissance drama and poetry via the history of the lower sensorium—the senses of smell, taste, and touch. Though the lower senses were often relegated to a secondary position in medical and philosophical texts, they defined every moment of a subject’s daily movements through his or her world. From the taste of the bread and beer that comprised most meals to the overwhelming range of smells that filled every crevice of the early modern city, men and women understood and maneuvered their bodies, encounters, desires, and labor through the three senses comprising the lower sensorium.

As occurred in the Renaissance, these grounding faculties are too often overlooked in contemporary scholarship. Yet, one could argue that no reading of Shakespeare’s King Lear can be considered complete without a thorough conversation about the lower sensorium, as smell (Lear’s stench “of mortality” on his hand), taste (Albany attempts to restore order by claiming, “All friends shall taste the wages of their virtue, and all foes the cup of their deserving”), and touch (Gloucester learn to “see [the world] feelingly”). Here—as in any number of texts from the period—understanding the influence and language of taste, smell, and touch refocus the text’s meaning. Participants will explore aspects of knowledge and sensation and consider the various ways they inform Renaissance drama, poetry, and thought. Papers are encouraged to cover a variety of genres from the period, including religious texts, iconography, cookbooks, and courtesy books. Does understanding how Renaissance subjects experienced the lower sensorium push us to read canonical texts differently? Areas of investigation could include the influence of fashionable aesthetic movements; variations in perception; a range of moral, bodily, and geographic cartographies; cultural issues integral to the arts of gesture; the influence of smell and touch on memory and emotion; and the influence of these senses on literature and thought generally.

Participants will pre-circulate works focused on better understanding how various works of poetry, drama, altered mythologies, and medical texts gave meaning to (and often redefined) bodily senses foundational to the subject’s experience of his or her world.

Please send abstracts (250 words), Name, and Affiliation to Colleen Kennedy ( ) and/or Christopher Madson ( ) by September 30. Full length papers (15-20 minutes reading time) will be due before the conference. Please see the NeMLA site for more information on the conference.

Colleen Kennedy, The Ohio State University
Christopher Madson, University at Buffalo

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