Food and Sustainability: Towards a Culinary Ecology

Country: Canada

City: Ontario

Abstr. due: 30.09.2014

Dates: 30.04.14 — 03.05.14

Area Of Sciences: Ecology; Biology; Agricultural;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: NEMLA


Interest in the fields of food and sustainability studies within the humanities is rapidly growing, in part due to their ability to investigate our perceived relationship with ecology. Food is a text that conveys identity, reflecting historically grounded or socially constructed attitudes through what is produced and consumed, both gastronomic and printed. Likewise, the connection between nature and culture as manifested in narratives allow us to recognize the discourse and disconnect between society and our environment, marking us through this relationship. Central to both fields is the interplay of humanity and environment, depicted in rural and urban ecologies, e.g. food deserts versus urban food jungles. We’re seeking abstracts that engage with the intersection of food and sustainability studies that address questions such as, but not limited to: 

  • How are food and place at play in texts, e.g. American Dust Bowl narratives?
  • How are cosmopolitan or rural landscaped portrayed in “eco” or “gastronomic” memoirs?
  • How are food and ecology intertwined?
  • How is the kitchen represented as space in which sustainable practices are negotiated?
  • Is there a link between the popularization of ethnic foods through cookbook publishing and unsustainable farming and food distribution practices?
  • Does food blogging and other highly visual online recipe sources contribute to the dematerialization and objectification of food and the environment? And are these practices viewed as constitutive of modern identity?

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