Donna Gabaccia (University of Toronto), Global Cities, Local Foods: The Challenge of the National

The talk invites the audience to think about the relationship of spatial and temporal scales of analysis in food studies. Sparked by passionate, recent discussions of populist or “re-emergent” forms of nationalism, it explores the implication of the national for the already-complex interface of global and local, especially over the past three decades.

Jeffrey Pilcher (University of Toronto), The Globalization of Craft Beer

Craft beer, also known as Real Ale in the UK, emerged in the 1970s as a local response to the standardization of Pilsner beers produced by large industrial brewers. This paper uses a mobility studies perspective to examine the subsequent spread of craft beer around the world and to question whether which it represents a local revolution against globalization.


Sarah Elton (University of Toronto), Bitter Melon and Bottle Gourd: Growing Urban Food Sovereignty in the Diaspora at the Time of the Anthropocene

This paper draws on empirical work in food-producing gardens in Toronto to explore how plants and people co-produce ecological public health practice and food sovereignty. This multispecies collaboration, that produces such vegetables as sweet potato greens, hyacinth beans and bottle gourd, provides food security and cultural connection to newer Canadians. In addition, it provides ecological health services, such as the preservation of plant biodiversity, as gardeners plant seeds brought to Toronto through informal networks from other gardens around the globe. This paper will speak to the conference themes of nonhuman and human migration and food in the context of the city during the Anthropocene.


Carl Ipsen (Indiana University), From Cloth Oil to Extra Virgin: The Changing Meaning of Italian Olive Oil in Recent Centuries

Inedible by contemporary standards, much eighteenth-century Italian olive oil was exported to for use in wool manufacturing; perhaps one per cent was considered olio fino and consumed by Italian elites. Today instead, 90% of olive oil is marketed as “extra virgin.” How did oil transition from an industrial product to a fetishized superfood?

Daniel Bender (University of Toronto), How to Write an Around-the-World Cookbook: Myra Waldo and Post-World War II American Fascination with Non-Western Cuisine

This paper examines post-World War II American fascination with non-Western cuisine through the writing of the prolific cookbook, diet advice book, travel guide, and restaurant guide author Myra Waldo. Connecting mass tourism to world cuisine, Waldo reimagined dishes and cuisines as attractions available to tourists and to home cooks.


Nicola Perullo (Università di Scienze Gastronomiche Pollenzo), Haptic Taste as an Ecological Task: A Proposal for a Glocally Engaged Perception

Haptic taste perceives food as a dynamic process rather than as an object. Difficulties to accept mobility are depending to the “optic supremacy” that has headed our cultural categories of culture.  The paper aims to show how haptic perceptual engagement can better cope with the interwoven issues of globalism and localism, because haptic perception is movement. Haptic taste helps to glocally think, feel, eat, and live.


Signe Rousseau (University of Cape Town), Food Representations On The Move

This paper recognizes that while the challenges and opportunities resulting from the mobilities of globalization relate most obviously to the concrete logistics of building food security for communities in flux, they can also profoundly affect the less quantifiable issue of how ideas about food are represented and consumed in a world that is now characterized as increasingly “phygital” (a hybrid between “physical” and “digital”).

Kethleen Burke (University of Toronto), Gendered and Classed Mobilities at the Dutch Colonial Table

What did Dutch households eat in nineteenth century colonial Indonesia? How did Bengali curry end up on Dutch colonial tables? This paper examines these questions by analyzing the first ever Dutch language cookbook printed in the Dutch East Indies. It shows how Dutch households created and circulated a peculiar colonial cuisine that was shaped by the mobility of culinary labor throughout the Indian Ocean.


Lisa Haushofer (University of Toronto), Out of Place: Mobile Food and Nutritional Theories in mid-19th Century Britain

This paper examines how the growing imperative for food to be mobile influenced theories of nourishment in the mid-nineteenth century. It examines economic and scientific debates about the relationship of food to place in Britain and its empire. As scarce food resources had to travel longer distances, nutrition experts sought to reconcile universalistic and localistic notions of nourishment.


Jayeeta Sharma (University of Toronto), Global and Local Tea Mobilities: Borderlands, Empires, Post-Colonial Alternatives

This paper examines the entwined mobilities of tea in connection with indigenous, imperial, and post-colonial foragers, plant-hunters, laborers, growers, technicians, travelers, and entrepreneurs connected to its longue durée production, distribution, and consumption. It regards tea as natural good, beverage, food, commodity, and as culture, a historical phenomenon that lies at the center of our understandings of mutable food systems, mobile peoples, and changing meanings of culinary globalization. Visual, textual, and material sources are drawn from archives across Britain, Central Asia, China, Europe, India, the Himalayas, and North America.


Simone Cinotto (Università di Scienze Gastronomiche Pollenzo), Fascist Coffee, Imperial Bananas: Economies, Practices, and Imaginaries of Food in Italian East Africa, 1935-1941

The paper describes the fascist project of settler colonialism in Ethiopia as integral to the regime’s politics of food self-sufficiency, demography, and race, and the resulting movements of people, seeds, plants, animals, agricultural practices, foodways, and identities within the short-lived Italian Empire.

Sandra Mendiola-Garcia (University of North Texas), Miners’ Pastes: From Cornwall to Mexico

This paper explores the introduction of pastes to central Mexico by Cornish miners in the nineteenth century and discusses how after the decline of the mining industry pastes shops have emerged in several cities as a way to re-imagine the past and boost the economy.


Ina Vandebroek (New York Botanical Garden), Transnational Journeys and Cultural Heritage: The Caribbean Food-Medicine Nexus

Caribbean co-mobility of humans and plants spans multiple continents (The Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia), cultural groups, and periods of time, encompassing forced historical and contemporary human migrations, as well as deliberate and unintentional plant introductions. These trajectories and geographic relationships are still visible in the rich diversity of plants used today in the Caribbean islands, and in their contemporary Diaspora communities in New York City. Caribbean plant use is also characterized by the parallel use of plants as foods and medicines. Thus, many plants well known for their food or culinary applications double as medicines, whereby the part of the plant used medicinally and as a food may differ, making effective use of the whole plant species.


Heather R. Lee (New York University Shangai), Making Trayf Safe: Conflict and Resolution between Jews and Chinese in Turn of the Century New York

How and why did American Jews embrace Chinese food? Looking to the late nineteenth century, this paper argues that New York Jews started eating Chinese food as a gesture of friendship and alliance with Chinese immigrants. These two immigrant populations in Lower Manhattan learned about, came into conflict, and resolved differences with each other.

Krishnendu Ray (New York University), Rethinking Street Food: Delhi, India

Consideration of street food in the contemporary world draws attention to the cities of the Global South, where some of the most interesting food is street food. This new focus can change the politics and poetics of good taste. It has the capacity to decolonize palatal and philosophical expectations of gastronomy that have come to dominate the field. And it also marks the transition from the twentieth-century welfare politics to an unchartered world of micro-entrepreneurship, risk, and precarity in the twenty-first century. Based on a case study in Delhi, India I show how democracy works at the ground-level of the marketplace and suggest that rather than eliminating street vending, a better pathway to a livable city would be a nuanced balancing of the laws, which can account for livelihoods of poor people in the short- and the medium-run, along with the liveliness of cities for all, allowing a slow, fruitful traffic in life-sustaining activities on the street. The challenge is to find ways to integrate the life of the foot and pedal with the inanimately powered wheel in the last mile – which is what we call a neighborhood—in a livable city.


Jennifer Shutek (New York University), Unpacking Sabich: The Migrations of an Iraqi Shabbat Dish

This paper follows the story of sabich, originally an Iraqi-Jewish shabbat dish that has become a popular street food in Israel, to shed light on the impacts of Mizrahi (Arab-Jewish), and especially Iraqi-Jewish, migration to Israel starting in the early 1950s. It investigates how Iraqi Jews impact the foodscape of Israel, particularly in urban areas, the relationships between the status of Iraqi-Jewish foods and Iraqi Jews themselves, and the ways in which Mizrahi culinary practices shape identity in Israel.


Elizabeth Hull (University of London SOAS), How Mobility and Immobility Is Shaping South Africa’s Food Retail Landscape

Since the mid-1990s, supermarket expansion in South Africa has been rapid in both urban and rural settings, a process widely understood to signify a shift from ‘traditional’ markets to ‘modern’ retail. A sizeable literature has emerged to examine both the dietary implications of this transformation, and its impact on the livelihoods of local farmers. Yet supermarkets have had other less documented effects. They have contributed to the growth of small towns and intensified patterns of movement to and from towns. They have influenced the rhythms of daily life, linking rural and urban areas not only by increased flows of goods, but also by the activities of shoppers and the changing visual landscape. This paper explores how supermarkets in rural KwaZulu-Natal influence the temporal and spatial patterns of everyday life, focusing both on consumers and smaller retailers. In turn, it considers the ways in which patterns of mobility/immobility – shaped in part by historical legacies of work and residence during apartheid—shape patterns of trade and retail.

Hasia Diner (New York University), Foodscapes and Streetscapes: Urban Life and Immigrant Merchants in America

Immigrants, across time and place, have fashioned enclaves for themselves, with cities particularly conducive environments where they shaped the communities they wanted. Residential, cultural, and political, the streets of these enclaves have also functioned as centers of business, where immigrants bought and sold among themselves as they also engaged with others. Food loomed large as items that went from sellers to consumers. This paper will look specifically at the streetscapes of Jewish neighborhoods in the United States and the role of food as the medium of exchange and the shaper of community. The paper will, however, position this one example in the context of the myriad others which could be drawn from around the world, involving all immigrants.


Koby Song-Nichols (University of Toronto), When the Diaspora Tastes Hot Pot from the Palace: Chinese Restaurants in Toronto

Following the diasporic linkages between the Bai family’s Beijing and Toronto restaurants, this paper examines how contemporary Chinese restaurateurs engage in culinary and intra/inter-ethnic conversations in order to succeed overseas. The Bai family’s restaurants move transnationally and transtemporally, bringing the elegance of Qing imperial court dining to critical diasporic palates.


Maria Giovanna Onorati (Università di Scienze Gastronomiche Pollenzo), Gastronomy as a Field of Social Inclusion for People on Forced Mobility: The “Food for Inclusion” Project

The paper provides an overview of the global level achieved by forced international migration, outlined as an important part of new mobilities, but also as an unstoppable phenomenon that does not let be easily dealt with under the general framework of the “new mobilities paradigm.” The peculiar condition of refugees, who only exist in the ‘gaps between states’ is still reliant upon a paradigm based on normative fixity rather than on fluid mobility. The paper will then present the experience of “Food for inclusion,” a Project run by UNISG and UNHCR and addressed to refugees, that aims not only at providing vocational skills in the field of gastronomy, but also at activating aspirations as manifestations of human agency and empowerment in mobile people going through a prolonged condition of “arrested mobility.”