GSA Seminar: Nourishing the Volk - Food and Foodways in Central Europe

RHN 7/2016 | Call

Conveners: Gesine Gerhard (University of the Pacific), Andrew Kloiber (McMaster University), Heather R. Perry (University of North Carolina, Charlotte)

29 September – 2 October 2016, San Diego, CA, USA

Deadline for submissions: 28 January 2016

40th GSA Conference - Seminar 20:
Nourishing the Volk:
Food and Foodways in Central Europe

Seminar Description:
This seminar will explore the significance of food and foodways in the lived experiences and symbolic identities of Central Europeans. As both a category and an object of analysis, food has been drawing increasing attention from historians, cultural theorists, anthropologists, and sociologists, who have come to recognize the significant role of food and foodways in the shaping of cultural identities - be they national, religious, or gendered in scope. Social scientists have been investigating more deeply the quotidian significance of food and foodstuffs during times of great social change or strife. Beyond the obvious health impact that food scarcity has upon the human body, food insecurity has played a significant role in military, political, and economic affairs. In addition to these material aspects of food, however, diet and cuisine have long been powerful aspects of identity in representations of self and “the other” in literature, film, painting, and other media. Thus the seminar organizers agree that the most fruitful examinations of food and foodways come from multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches.

Seminar Format:
This seminar will be organized around the 3 conceptual categories of Gender, Nation, and Economy. Each day we will discuss the food‐related research of five participants and how it challenges or sheds new light on each of these categories/subjects of analysis.

We encourage interested participants to submit a 250-word abstract which outlines how your food‐themed research intersects with one (or more) of these categories. We encourage applications from all GSA disciplines and time periods.

Proposed Size: 12-15 participants.


  • Gesine Gerhard (University of the Pacific)
  • Andrew Kloiber (McMaster University)
  • Heather R. Perry (University of North Carolina, Charlotte)