Merin Oleschuk and Dr. Helen Vallianatos are working on putting together a
panel session for 2012 Annual Conference of the Centre for Diaspora and
Transnational Studies at University of Toronto entitled 'Foodways:
Diasporic Diners, Transnational Tables and Culinary Connections'. We are
looking for participants to join our panel examining how individuals in the
Canadian diaspora negotiate gendered and ethnic power relations through
their food practices.
We've attached the information for the conference at the end of this email.
We require your expression of interest (the title of your work and contact
details) by February 9, 2012 and will require your abstract by the
beginning of March. Please contact Merin Oleschuk at
firstname.lastname@example.org you are interested.
The abstract for the panel is:
Negotiating the diasporic kitchen:
From daily cooking, celebratory feasting, to culinary travelling, food is a
marker of who we are, who we were, and who we want to be. For those living
within the Canadian diaspora, these explorations are wrought with
consequences for the power encompassed in ethnic and gendered identities.
While diasporic foodways reproduce memories, sociality and rituals
associated with a distant, but not forgotten homeland, they are also
simultaneously implicated in the embodiment of diaporic integration.
Therefore, when individuals make decisions about what and how to eat, they
are assigning their place within a multiplicity of symbolic, social and
material differences, of which hold inherent political implications. The
papers in this panel consider how food can provide a window into diasporic
individuals' performance as gendered, multinational citizens.
Information on the conference:
*FOODWAYS: DIASPORIC DINERS, TRANSNATIONAL TABLES AND CULINARY CONNECTIONS*
Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, University of Toronto
Please join us for the 2012 Annual Conference of the Centre for Diaspora
and Transnational Studies, University of Toronto
Thursday October 4 - Sunday, October 7, 2012
*Expressions of Interest due: Feb. 10*
*Abstracts due: Mar. 16*
This conference seeks to address questions surrounding the dynamics of the
food 'we' eat, the ways in which 'we' eat, the meaning 'we' give to eating,
and the effect of eating in a transnational world. Recognizing that
culinary culture is central to diasporic identifications, the focus is on
the place of food in the enduring habits, rituals, and everyday practices
that are collectively used to produce and sustain a shared senses of
cultural identity. Yet even as it does this work, food and the practices of
production, preparation and consumption that revolve around it, cannot help
but be drawn into wider cultures and cultural politics of consumption
increasingly grounded in the pursuit of qualities of difference, acts of
distinction and questions of justice. This focus on food, cooking, and
eating in diaspora and its role in connecting and changing peoples, places,
tastes, and sensibilities around the world yields insight not only to
substances that people consider essential to the maintenance of identity,
but to the production of new cultural political formations in a
transnational world and to the role of cultural (re)production in the
expansion of consumption under contemporary capitalism. A focus on food
also reveals the dynamic role of historical pathways in understanding
cultural formations as they have existed through time, and in positioning
the present as a moment in a continuing process of structured mobility that
directs the movement of people, what they eat, and how they understand
themselves and the world around them. It also yields insight into the
multiple places and ways in which food assumes value and how that value is
often reliant upon the continued reproduction of ties that bind people,
place, and practice across space and time. A great deal of academic work
explores this interplay of food, practice, identity and subject formation,
much of it bound together by a commitment that through a fuller
understanding of those relations, we better understand ourselves, our
pasts, and the complexities of the spaces and lives we inhabit and enact in
a transnational world. This conference seeks to enhance that understanding.
The conference website will be available soon, with more information,
registration, and online submission of abstracts. For now, to help with
advance planning we would be grateful if you would submit expressions of
*Submitting an Expression of Interest:*
We welcome contributions from scholars, activists, artists, advocates,
government staff and food and agriculture practitioners and expect the
meeting to have wide appeal across the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Suggestions for papers, panel proposals, roundtables, posters and
workshops should speak directly to the theme of the conference and can
align with, but are not limited to, the examples of potential panels
To help us with advance planning, please submit expressions of interest by
Feb. 10 2012. For papers and posters this should be the title of an
intended paper or poster. For panel, roundtable or workshop proposals,
this should include a title and brief (two sentence description of the
session). Panels should consist of 4 papers. In your expression of
interest, please include your title, the name of your college, university
or organization,address and contact details and your areas of research,
writing or practice.
Please address your expressions of interest to Rebecca O'Neill -
email@example.com with the subject line "Food Conference"
For more information on the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies
at the University of Toronto, please see: http://www.utoronto.ca/cdts/
*Possible Topics and Areas of Interest:*
• *The Transnational Kitchen*: the role of food 'professionals' as
transnational agents in shaping new foods, sourcing new ingredients,
identifying and incorporating new ingredients and trends in preparation
• *The Syncretic Pot: Cooking in Transnational Spaces*. The dynamics
of foodpreparation in transnational spaces and the place of cooking in
negotiating shared senses of diasporic identity.
• *Transnational Food Spaces*: A consideration of the kitchen, the
dining room, the grocery store, the garden, the café, the restaurant, the
school and the workplace as sites of transculturation, spaces in which
disparate representations of 'the other' (and 'other foods') are
encountered, and the reconfigurations of food, eating and identity that
result from these encounters.
• *The Diasporic Garden*: explorations of the various modes and
mechanisms of production and distribution required to supply the products
integral to the social and commercial production of foodstuffs for
diasporic communities; including the often-invisible spaces of backyard
gardens, community farms, ethnic markets, etc.
• *Am I What I Eat\ Transnational Flows, Food and Constructs of
Authenticity*: Questioning the role of authenticity in sanctioning
foodstuffs and how constructs and conceptions of 'the authentic self'
change as people strive (and often fail) to reproduce 'authentic' cuisines.
• *Affective Bodies at the Transnational Table*: Considerations of the
relations between the senses, affect, food, manners and etiquette and the
disciplining effect of eating in embodying and performing the qualities
integral to diasporic identifications.
• *Culinary Foodways*: Charting the adaptation, substitution, and
indigenization of ingredients, foodstuffs, and methods of preparation
across time and space.
• *Food Memories*: Considering the work performed by food in the
reproduction of sociality, myth and ritual and practice that are core to
maintaining the boundaries of diasporic communities and constructs of
'home', 'away', and 'return'.
• *The Food Dialogues*: Exploration of the various channels (e. g,
personal correspondence, popular culture, media, professional associations,
social movements) through which the transformation of diet becomes a
spatially iterative process.
• *Enclave Eating and Cosmo-Multiculturalism*: questions of the degree
to which the ready availability of diasporic foodstuffs encourages or
permits a 'lazy' engagement with multi-culturalism in which eating 'the
foreign' or 'the exotic' is focused on the production of a distinctive self
and displaces other more substantive or productive forms of engagement with
• *Fixing Food* –In what ways are diasporic foods essentialized and does
the necessity of maintaining "exotic" or "authentic" foodscapes produce a
distinct diasporic burden, acting to fix migrant culinary cultures - with
what outcomes and effects for foods and the creativity of their makers?
• *A Doner Kebab with 'the Works'** *- identifying why and through what
historical processes food becomes a mediator of of ethnic identities
produced in diasporic contexts.
• *Where's Little India?* – a consideration of the role of food in the
development of distinct "ethnic quarters", the historical conditions in
which such enclaves are produced and with what consequences for peoples
working and living in those enclaves?
Lauren Baker (Toronto Food Policy Council)
Simone Cinotto, (UNISG, Pollenzo, Italy)
Ian Cook (Geography, Exeter)
Michaeline Crichlow (Sociology, Duke)
Harriet Friedman (Geography, Toronto)
Rick Halpern (History, Toronto)
Josee Johnston (Sociology Toronto)
Minelle Mahtani (Geography and Journalism, Toronto)
Sid Mintz (Anthropology, Johns Hopkins)
Jeffrey Pilcher (History, Minnesota)
Krishnendu Ray (Food Studies, NYU)
Eleanor Sterling (Director, Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation,
American Museum of Natural History; Columbia University)
Penny Van Esterik (Anthropology, York)
Rick Wilk (Anthropology, Indiana)
*Local Arrangements and Organizing Committee (University of Toronto)*
Antonela Arhin ( CDTS)
Dan Bender (History)
Ben Liu (Centre for Community Partnerships; Geography)
Ken MacDonald (Geography, CDTS)
Rebecca O'Neill (History)
Kevin O'Neill (Religious Studies; CDTS)
Ato Quayson (English; CDTS)
Anna Shternshis (Germanic Languages; Jewish Studies; CDTS)
Nick Terpstra (History; CDTS)