2017 Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food

Country: Netherlands

City: Amsterdam

Abstr. due: 05.03.2017

Dates: 17.11.17 — 18.11.17

Area Of Sciences: History and archeology;

Organizing comittee e-mail: Foodhistory-ub@uva.nl

Organizers: University of Amsterdam


From which angle does a scholar approach the concept of taste? Is it primarily an objective, chemical quality, or should it be considered a product of culture? And are these perspectives wholly incompatible? The physical quality and flavour of food and drink preoccupy molecular biologists, gastronomic professionals, and bon vivants. Chemists, among others, construe classification systems, aspiring to help us understand the complexity and the possibilities of flavour. Mediators and their audiences may oftentimes embrace subjectivity, by detailing their intimate and embodied experience of taste. Neither approach is new: historically, classification systems have had major cultural and religious significance, whereas the conception of ‘good’ food – as opposed to ‘bad’ food – and its application in mechanisms of social distinction is at least as old as class-based societies themselves. Clearly, discussions about taste have always been informed by an array of physiological and psychological experiences, not just our palates. We invite proposals on this complex notion of taste: its characteristics, its cultural evaluation, and its history.


We invite abstracts for papers covering any topic related to the (historical) study of taste including, but not limited to, the following:

    The physiology and representation of taste

    Taste, power, and social relations

    Authentic versus artificial flavours

    Taste, emotion, and memory

    Individual versus collective taste(s)

Guidelines Paper Proposals

The conference program consists of plenary keynote lectures, paper presentations and panel discussions. If you are interested in presenting a paper at the conference, please submit an abstract before 5 March 2017. Please expect to be presenting to a large audience of up to 350 people, including academic as well as professional participants. The conference language is English. Presenters of accepted papers are asked to speak 20 minutes as lively and engaging as possible, followed by a discussion with the panel and the audience under the supervision of a session chair.

Applications should include:

    Title of proposed paper

    Abstract (maximum 500 words)

    Biographical information (short CV)

    Contact information (e-mail, telephone and postal address)

Conference Web-Site: https://networks.h-net.org/node/73374/announcements/159280/call-papers-2017-amsterdam-symposium-history-food