Call for papers: Thinking Food

Students and Doctoral Students International Interdisciplinary Conference

Thinking Food: The Functions of Food in the US American Culture and Society

American Studies Center, University of Warsaw
May 16-17, 2014

Food has always had a profound impact on shaping the American continent, culture, and society. In the last century, McDonald’s golden arches have replaced corn as America’s gold and the country has expanded not only in terms of its geopolitical or economical reach but also has significantly grown in clothes and portion size.

American popular culture today is saturated with representations of food and food practices in advertisements, culinary shows, online foodie communities and blogs, films and TV series, magazines and journals, and holiday tour options. Americans are also setting up urban gardens and joining in food cooperatives about which they blog and community organize. The transmedia character of these food fashions, combined with the traditional perception of America as the land of plenty, as well as a culture known for its paradoxical relationship to thinness and fatness, leads to questions regarding the functions of food in US culture and society. Even the briefest of overviews shows that satisfying a basic human need seems to be the least important element of the food question: in short, there is more to food than meets the American palate.

Benefiting from the increasing interest in food studies, we would like to open an academic discussion on the social and cultural aspects of food in the United States. We are looking for papers from students and doctoral students examining functions of food and food practices in US society and culture. Potential topic areas may include, but are not limited to:

  • Food and Identity: Gender and Sexuality, Ethnicity and Race, Social Status, Nationality, and Religion
  • History and Sociology of Food and Eating Habits
  • Food Topics and Practices in Literature and Non-Fiction Writing
  • Food in Media
  • Economy of Food Production and Consumption
  • Food and Urban Culture
  • Culinary Tourism and the Globalization of Food
  • Food, Ideology, and Politics
  • Food Fashion(s)
  • Food Symbolism, Iconicity, and Language

The abstracts (250 words) should be sent to by January 17, 2014.
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