Call for Papers: Food and Weather

RHN 68/2013 | Call

Organisers: Karin Becker (IEHCA / Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster); Vincent Moriniaux (ENeC / Université Paris-Sorbonne); Martine Tabeaud (ENeC / Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

2-4 April 2014, Paris, Sorbonne (Amphithéâtre Louis Liard) / Goethe-Institut Paris

Deadline: 1 October 2013

Food and Weather / 
L'alimentation et le temps qu'il fait

This multidisciplinary colloquium aims at filling a gap in research by studying the numerous interdependences between weather conditions and human food. It leans on two networks: that of the IEHCA, which works on the history and the cultures of food, and that dedicated to representations of weather (Perception of climate network).

Yet, both research fields of food and meteorology train an “interscience” (Parrochia) which requires a holistic approach of a “total phenomenon” (Mauss). The human beings who are biological and social, try to establish, by collective standards, the interaction between individuals and their environment, between the inside and the outside, in an aim of control, forecast and protection.

Studying relationships between food and meteorology responds, today in highly developed western countries, to a social search for harmony with “Nature”. What about other places? The colloquium will hand over to other cultures. The themes aim to be registered both in the present time and in a historical perspective. The topic will not be the history of food or the history of climate but crossed views. The consequences of the global warming on foodstuffs, as well as past and present scarcities and famines associated with exceptional weather conditions, do not constitute the heart of the subject, because these themes have been and are still the object of numerous colloquiums.

Four axes will be explored: perceptions, rhythms, discourses, signs.

  • Perceptions: Do weather conditions determine where and what we eat and drink? Do diets respond to meteorological constraints? Does the temperature of food respond to the air temperature? Does the preparation of food change according to the weather? Do we eat and drink differently in unusual weather conditions?
  • Rhythms: Do the meteorological and food temporalities echo to each other? Is there a seasonality of food? Is there an influence of the weather on the emergence of food cultures? Does the weather determine the ways of preservation and consumption of food? Are the weather types staged in the culinary practices? How does the gastronomy put in show food and weather?
  • Discourses: How have the gastronomic and meteorological discourses got mixed with each other? Do food and meteorological terminologies respond to each other? What meteorological metaphors enrich the culinary literature? What rhetoric means are used to tell the short-lived of the weather and of eat and drink? How do cookbooks integrate the weather conditions? What functions do the culinary and meteorological references have in texts of any kinds? How do weather and meal scenes build an effect of reality in pieces of art?
  • Signs: What systems of signs gather food and meteors? What food, culinary practices are summoned in rites associated to the weather? To what spiritual representations of the environment do they echo? Has progress in sciences of the atmosphere changed the supply? Does sharing of weather and food create an identity?

Proposals should be sent until 1st October 2013 to the following address:

We would like to ask you to send a provisional title and an abstract of 400 words (in French, in German or in English), as well as your university address.

Scientific Board: 
Karin Becker, literature, Universität Münster 
Trude Ehlert, philology, Universität Würzburg 
Michael Gamper, literature, Universität Hannover 
Allen Grieco, history, Villa I Tatti, Firenze 
Sylvie Guichard Anguis, japanology, CNRS, Paris 
Gunther Hirschfelder, ethnology, Universität Regensburg 
Cornelia Lüdecke, meteorology, Deutsche Meteorologische Gesellschaft 
Vincent Moriniaux, geography, Université Paris-Sorbonne 
Jean-Robert Pitte, geography, Université Paris-Sorbonne 
Martin de la Soudière, ethnology, Centre Edgar Morin, Paris 
Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, history, Collège de France 
Françoise Sabban, sinology, EHESS, Paris 
Peter Scholliers, history, Vrije Universiteit Brussel 
Martine Tabeaud, geography, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne 
Anouchka Vasak, literature, Réseau Perception du climat, EHESS, Paris

Conference language will be French, German and English.

The publication is envisaged in the “MétéoS” series of the Éditions Hermann (Paris).

Contact:Karin Becker
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität
Romanisches Seminar, Bispinghof 3A

Source: H-Soz-u-Kult