Food Mobilities: Making World Cuisines
University of Gastronomic Sciences, New York University, and University of Toronto organize on June 5-8 in Pollenzo a conference featuring major international scholars of the global circulation of people, foods, and foodways.

What are the dynamics of the mobility of foodstuffs and cooking/eating patterns? How does the selective incorporation of plants and animals in the sphere of the edible work and what are the economic, social, and ecological consequences of these choices? How can we comprehend the intertwined mobilities of people, plants, animals, foods, and commodities within the study of modern food systems? What is the relationship between human migration and food exchange, acculturation, and identity? What are the social and cultural dimensions of the logistics of food within cities, between regions and cities, and across national boundaries and continents?

The conference, which will produce a digital learning web site and scholarly publications, addresses fundamental questions in food distribution and exchange in the modern and contemporary world.

This conference brings together scholars of mobility to examine food provisioning and the food cultures of the world, historically, and in contemporary times. How do we place the entwined mobility of peoples, plants and animals, food goods and commodities at the center of our understandings of the emergence of modern food systems?

This conference, and subsequent planned publications, will address the connections between the intimate, affective and emotional, entrepreneurial, and symbolic relations of mobility and systems of food politics, production, transformation, exchange, and consumption. How have people on the move – migrants, merchants, traders, planters, explorers and plant hunters, laborers, soldiers, priests, professional cooks, travelers, tourists, and others – actively promoted food change, transformed biodiversities, and accelerated the globalization of the modern age? How can scholars connect histories of capital, human migration, empire and the nation-state to those of the natural migrations of plant and animal species? How are symbolic, cultural, ethnic, gendered, ecological, and economic meanings attached to food and how do they produce notions of edibility? How do these meanings as luxury, as national or ethnic emblems connect food to place and create patterns of trade, consumption, distribution, and production? How is mobility a logistical question of moving people, animals, plants, and commodities, but also one of knowledge production about place, products, traditions, medicine, and more?

This conference connects themes and methods in the study of migration, food systems, and food globalization. Migration studies in its focus on food, has focused on food insecurity as motive for migration and has explored migrant foodways as the re-articulation of identities and economic opportunities within diasporas; labor and slavery studies has chronicled the mobilization of peoples often for the production of food commodities; food studies has traced patterns and histories of commodity chains and global food systems. How can we bring together these insights (and more) under the broad synthetic concept of mobility?

This conference brings together scholars from a variety of disciplinary and geographic locations, and essays that transcend national boundaries, asking big questions about food and mobility from a transnational perspective.


Learn more about Program & Partecipants >