Food identity and Social Change – University of Copenhagen

Food identity and Social Change

2014 International Food Workshop 25-26 September 2014

Food draws people into the web of life and touches upon everything that matters: it expresses personhood, marks membership (or non-membership) in practically any kind of social grouping and draws lines of where morality begins and ends. Yet, food can also signify very different things from place to place, from kitchen to kitchen and from one time period to another. Social changes – such as peoples on the move (nomads, migrants, tourists), changes in intergroup relations within societies, new technologies (in mass media, biotechnology), mass production of foods and increasing globalization of foods, and changes caused by war – have been relatively neglected in food studies.

Food is a powerful lens for analyzing identity. This is clearly illustrated in the works of food studies that include Bourdieu’s inquiry into the taste and preferences of the French bourgeoisie and Mintz’s pioneering historical study of how high status sugar produced in the Caribbean became a working class staple to the exciting growth of more recent works by Appadurai on how to create a national cuisine and Wilk’s scrutiny of the complex culinary reactions of Belizeans to colonialism, class differentiation and modernity.

The conference will take place at the University of Copenhagen, South Campus (KUA1)

Participation is free but we ask that those interested in participating register with Susanne Kerner (

The conference is co-organized by Cynthia Chou (Southeast Asian Studies) and Susanne Kerner (Near Eastern Archaeology) and is funded by University of Copenhagen.

ToRS, Karen Blixens Vej 4, 2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark
25. september 2014: 27.0.49 (at Njalsgade 144)
26. September 2014: Auditorium 22.0.11 (at Njalsgade 130)