Amsterdam Symposium on History of Food 2017: Making Sense of Taste

Registration is now open for the Amsterdam Symposium on History of Food 2017: Making Sense of Taste

Friday 17 November – Saturday 18 November 2017
Venue: Aula of the University of Amsterdam

Registration is now open on this website. We kindly invite you to register now. Do you have any questions? Please contact us.

From which angle does a scholar approach the concept of taste? Is it primarily an objective, chemical quality, or should it be considered a product of culture? And are these perspectives wholly incompatible? The physical quality and flavour of food and drink preoccupy molecular biologists, gastronomic professionals, and bon vivants. Chemists, among others, construe classification systems, aspiring to help us understand the complexity and the possibilities of flavour. Mediators and their audiences may oftentimes embrace subjectivity, by detailing their intimate and embodied experience of taste. Neither approach is new: historically, classification systems have had major cultural and religious significance, whereas the conception of ‘good’ food – as opposed to ‘bad’ food – and its application in mechanisms of social distinction is at least as old as class-based societies themselves. Clearly, discussions about taste have always been informed by an array of physiological and psychological experiences, not just our palates.

Applications for Junior Researcher Task Force

This looks like a great opportunity. If I was not teaching that week, I would certainly apply.

Application deadline: 15 July 2015

The 2nd International Conference on Global Food Security will feature a Junior Researcher Task Force, a team of 22 young people responsible for capturing and distributing via social media the big and recurring conversation topics that evolve under each thematic area. Selected members will attend all thematically-related sessions, use Twitter during the conference, and write blog posts immediately following to synthesize the most exciting research and new ideas. These individuals will also be required to attend a one-day “science communications” training the weekend of 10-11 October 2015.

The organizing committee is now accepting applications to be part of this task force. Graduate students, post-docs, and other junior research staff with an established professional social media presence (preferred) or an interest in cultivating one are encouraged to apply. Selected junior task force members will receive FREE registration (courtesy of the support of CICCA) to the conference, however all other costs must be covered by the individual.

Please submit the completed application form along with your CV no later than Wednesday 15 July 2015.

Information from here

How to feed 9 billion people without wrecking the planet?

I am moving WAY out of my comfort zone by presenting a Pecha Kucha (20 slides  shown for 20 seconds each) at the Eco Intensive Agriculture Conference. I will be reflecting on the “why” and “how” of integrated food security governance for sustainability transformation and talking about why we need to include socio-cultural and socio-ecological considerations in such arrangements.

Here is the Flyer.

Registration for the conference is free (click here)!

Towards eco-intensive agriculture

Call for Papers! Cross-Disciplinary Issues for Food Governance: Challenges and Opportunities

We are now looking for papers for a Session on Cross-Disciplinary Issues for Food Governance: Challenges and Opportunities for the ECPR General Conference 2015, Montreal


Section Chair Gerard Breeman & Section Co-Chair Jessica Duncan
Wageningen University and Research Center
Development, Environmental Policy, Global, Governance, Public Administration, Public Policy
The call for more integrated food policy and governance arrangements, away from a mono-disciplinary focus on agricultural, international development, environment health is increasing alongside recognition of the need to address the complexity of food systems. As such, policies that integrate nutrition and public health, agriculture, environment, ethics and social justice, trade, ecology, spatial planning, climate change, water management, and energy are needed.

Yet, the interconnectedness of relevant policy domains means that food represents a policy challenge as well as a governance challenge at multiple levels (i.e., local, national, international, multinational) and scales (from global discussion about food security and supply, to local water management; from acute problems to looming catastrophes). All these linkages and cross-overs pose challenges to state actors, civil society, and the private sector. There is a need to setup cross-boundary governance arrangements between traditional institutions and administrative competences, but also expand analysis of possible gaps between institutions, deadlocks, miscommunication or the lack of coordination.

In this section we explore a variety of issues that arise when working towards integrated food policies. We welcome paper proposals that analyse cross-policy and governance issues related to food and agriculture.

We propose the following panels:

1. Governing food policy at the nexus: Jessica Duncan (Wageningen University) and Gerard Breeman, (Wageningen University)

A scientifically-framed nexus of threats, marked by a perfect storm of environmental challenges, has recently attracted attention across in global governance regimes. There has been widespread agreement on the need for greater coordination and coherence in governance arrangement to address these challenges, but integration has been weak in practice. This panel seeks papers that interrogate the governance environment and identify the challenges and opportunities at the intersection of food security, energy, finance, natural resources and climate change governance.

2. Changes and transformations in global coordination for food security: Matthieu Brun (IDDRI) and Sébastien Treyer (IDDRI Science Po)

The 2008/2009 food price crisis highlighted an urgent need for a global coordination on food security. There have been initiatives to coherently define food security as a global public good or a global commons. Since the food crisis the fragmented global governance of food security has seen institutional and procedural changes. Nation States claims that food security is a matter of sovereignty, are questioned by various stakeholders, emerging initiatives, and new partnerships. Civil Society Organisations have gained space through the development of inclusive approaches in global governance and are investing in different political arenas to promote their vision to achieve food security and establish inclusive agricultural at regional and national levels. Transnational corporations and private sector are expected to play a key role in the development agenda, especially in agriculture. This panel aims at analysing transformations in the food security governance; the emerging arrangements, their accountability mechanisms, and the new power relations resulting from such changes and the opportunities to rethink food systems in relation to issues such as climate change, sustainable development, and the financial crisis.

3. Food System Governance: Katrien Termeer (Wageningen University) and John Ingram (Oxford University)

Much of the food security debate used to centre on food production and developing countries. Scholars and policymakers, however increasingly request a broader and more integrated approach. The food system concept for instance, aims to understand the interconnected relationships between: various activities ; various food security outcomes , various scales, and various socio-economic and environmental constraints and impacts. This broader perspective enhances new governance challenges, due in part, to the inherent fragmented institutional structure of the food system, characterized by predefined jurisdictional scales, compartmentalisation of policy domains and separated public and private spheres. The current governance institutions strengthen the food system but they also hinder it, because there are too few linkages, the short term dominates the long term; or they provide too little flexibility. Governance arrangements are challenged to cross these historically entrenched institutional boundaries, that allocate power relationships and resources, and that represent dominant beliefs, roles and rules. We welcome theoretical papers contributing to the understanding of food system governance, and empirical papers (from developing and developed countries) that analyse promising governance arrangements based on a food system perspective.

4. Challenges in Food Governance: Carsten Daugbjerg (The Australian National University and Grace Skogstad (University of Toronto)

Previously, governing food and agriculture was for insiders who were policy experts and represented the industry or the government. Agricultural policy focussed on maintaining farm incomes and ensuring the viability of the farm industry. Food regulation was aimed at ensuring consumers safe food. Over the last three decades, multiple dimensions have been added to food and agricultural policies so that the latter now interlink with policy domains such as trade, development, biotechnology, energy, environment, and ethical consumer concerns. The multi-dimensionality of agriculture and food policy has brought new actors and interests into agri-food policy making, challenging existing governance structures. This panel examines the ability of existing theories of governance and public policy to explain the consequence of these challenges for changes in food governance.

5. The aftermath of the food price crises: implications for food governance: Jeroen Candel (Wageningen University)

The food price crises of 2007/2008 and 2010 led to political attention to food systems in general, and food security in particular. Although food prices have not (yet) subsided to previous levels and food security still plays an important role in policy and scholarly discussions, have the spikes resulted in any structural changes regarding the governance of food security. This panel seeks to understand recent developments in the governance of food security and food systems. We welcome papers that empirically analyze and discuss change and continuity of governance systems, institutions, policies, policy instruments, and/or political leadership in the aftermath of the food price crises. Comparative studies are particularly welcomed.