Norwegian version
collage gammel gryte, ferdaskrin, mat

Tracing, shaping and reshaping Culinary Heritage

Call for papers: Conference 2022 hosted by The Research Council of Norway research projects "The impact of food culture in Medieval towns" (FOODIMPACT) and "Culinary heritage as a resource in developing 'Food Nation Norway 2030'” (FoodLessons).

The availability of resources, knowledge and knowhow as well as present social structures are all contributing to unique local food cultures in the world. Food is both multisensory and intangible. Scholars in the field of food studies now provide new knowledge of local food cultures of the past. At the same time, the food value chain is focusing on creative use of past food culture, taking food heritage into the future.

Although interest in food history has increased in recent years, it is still an under-researched, under-used and under-communicated field. Through this conference, the ambition is to contribute to new and valuable knowledge, as well as mobilize exciting cooperation and knowledge transfer across disciplines. We will create a meeting point for contemporary and historical food studies by bringing together scholars from sociology, archaeology, anthropology and history as well as representatives of the value chain in food production. 

Session 1: Food culture and local identity through history

Food and the way we eat it is closely connected to local Identity and place. The relationship between available resources, tradition and social strategies continues to shape the dynamics between local and global food culture. This “cocktail” of powers is not static, but continuously changing through time and space. In what way has the availability of resources shaped local food cultures in historical and prehistoric times? What evidence do we have for historical cooking traditions? This session will focus on local food culture through history. We put resources, cooking traditions and social approaches to food in the spotlight, and welcome papers focusing on different times and places.

Session 2: Food heritagization, locality and sustainable development

In 2007 the word ‘locavore’ was chosen the word of the year by Oxford American Dictionary. Three years later food made its first appearance on the UNESCO list of Intangible Heritage. Being inscribed on this list has profound effects on the ways in which cuisine has entered into a global political regime that demarcates knowledge and practices worthy of recognition and preservation. Food as heritage is multisensory, and both tangible (ingredients and cooking equipment) and intangible (tastes, smells, recipes, and eating traditions). In this session, we will take a closer look at how a revitalization of culinary heritage can be used in reaching UN’s 17 sustainable development goals. Through empirical examples, experiential gastronomy and multisensory elements we will display past menus and practices in innovative ways and inspire to a better interaction between traditions and new impulses. We welcome papers focusing on creating and recreating of food, places and practices.

Session 3: Innovation and sustainability in the food distribution system: Past, present and for the future

The modern agro-industrial food production- and distribution system that increasingly have dominated the western global food system, are now being challenged from different angles. Large-scale production based on transnational and co-operatives distributions networks with its anonymous food chain are no longer the credo. Policymakers, producers, food activists, artists and others, are seeking to shape a more sustainable food culture for the present and the future based on local resources, knowledge and practices. In this session we ask; how are past food practices present in these efforts? How has and how can food practices of the past serve as an innovative power for the future? Moreover, what do we mean by local food culture in a historical and cultural context? We welcome contributions from scholars in the field of food studies, policymakers, producers, artists and activists.

Call for papers

The conference seeks papers that contribute new data and interpretations, methodologies and approaches within the three session themes. Each paper will be given a 25 minutes timeslot, with a presentation of max. 20 minutes followed by 5 min. of discussion. New projects and early career researcher and students are specifically encouraged to attend. Abstracts of max. 200 words may be sent to marianne.vedeler@khm.uio.no. Please indicate the session theme you want to contribute to. Accepted paper proposals will be notified by April 30.

Practical information

Time/place: September 5-6, 2022, University of Oslo

Final program and registration will be available on the FOODIMPACT and FoodLessons websites in May.

A volume edited by the event Committee will follow up the conference.

Please note

Deadline for proposals: March 1

Deadline for conference registration: August 1

Event Committee

Marianne Vedeler, Professor (dr.art), Museum Of Cultural History, University of Oslo

Annechen Bahr Bugge, Research Professor (dr.polit), Oslo Metropolitan University – Consumption Research Norway

Inger Johanne Lyngø, Research Professor (dr.art), Oslo Metropolitan University – Consumption Research Norway

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