Consuming the World: Eating and Drinking in Culture, History, and Environment

Location: Rachel Carson Center, Munich

ConvenersMichelle Mart (Penn State University, Berks Campus), Christof Mauch (Rachel Carson Center), Daniel Philippon (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities), Hanna Schösler (University of Bayreuth)

The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, a joint initiative of LMU Munich and the Deutsches Museum in Munich, invites paper proposals for a conference on eating and drinking in culture, history, and environment.

The food that people produce and eat is perhaps the most basic expression of their culture and their relationship to the environment. What individuals consume is determined by the culture of which they are a part, and what groups of people consume is determined by the environment in which they live. But food is also a matter of choice: individuals and groups also consume food as expressions of cultural narratives and desires. Moreover, culture, environment, and consumption are in a dynamic relationship, shifting and evolving at different points in time and place.

This workshop aims to explore the connections between culture, history, and environment from an interdisciplinary and multicultural perspective. In particular, we wish to address the following questions:

  • How have cultures modified their food traditions in response to changes in their local environmental conditions?
  • How have food cultures, traditions, and imaginaries been shaped by a range of biosocial factors (not only race, class, gender, and religion, but also place, geography, and biology)?
  • How have cultural concerns about local/organic/slow/fair/sustainable food driven, and been driven by, specific historical, ecological, and economic changes?
  • How have cultural concerns about healthy food connected bodily health with environmental health?

All participants are expected to provide a draft of their paper approximately eight weeks before the conference. We will circulate papers in advance and expect that participants will have read them before the event.

The program can be found here.

Read the conference report or a blog post.

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