The Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food is the annual international point of assembly and an exchange of knowledge in the field of the food history in the Netherlands. It intends to stimulate debate and research that bridges the gap between different disciplines. Another aim is to transfer academic research to a wider public and stimulate research using the Special Collection of the University of Amsterdam. The symposium is therefore targeted at both an academic and a professional audience.
The Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food is the result of a collaborative partnership between the Special Collections, University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam School of Historical Studies, University of Amsterdam and the research unit Social & Cultural Food Studies (FOST) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Friday, 15 November – Saturday 16 November 2019
Venue: Aula of the University of Amsterdam
Singel 411, 1012 XM Amsterdam.
Registration will open in June.
For an update on the Symposium please sign in here.
creating, negotiating, and resisting transnational food systems
Because of its manifold effects on individuals, cultures, and countries, from the 15th century onwards the colonial era had far-reaching impacts on existing foodways. Colonial rulers often imposed exploitative food systems upon the colonized, resulting in relationships that have been perpetuated, mediated, and resisted to this day. Because of their troubling and complex legacy, colonial foodways have become an essential theme in recent histories of transnational food production, consumption and trade practices from early modern mercantilism to the present. By shifting the focus from two-way colonizer-colonized relationships towards (post)colonial networks and their various nexuses, truly transnational histories are emerging that decenter Europe and go beyond traditional narratives.
Food history and (post)colonial history intersect in various ways. Theories about exploration and exploitation offer insights into (proto)capitalism and the consumption of commodities, the agency of populations in the Global South, the transfer of food technologies, and the ecological impact of restructuring and repurposing vast areas of land. Studying material culture and (post)colonial food customs, furthermore, advances an in-depth understanding of the historical negotiation of identities and ideologies. The hybridization of national and migrant cuisines, culinary (neo)colonialism, and shifting perceptions of gastronomic ‘authenticity’ all underwrite the continuing influence of the colonial era on how we speak about food and, subsequently, about ourselves.
This year’s Symposium encourages scholars from all relevant fields of research to explore the continuing relevance of the links between (post)colonial studies and food history. We invite abstracts for papers covering any topic related to the study of this theme including, but not limited to, the following:
- (Post)colonial food rituals and customs
- Trade, production and consumption of colonial commodities, such as coffee, sugar, chocolate, and spices
- Migration, diaspora, and hybridization of culinary cultures
- Negotiation and ways of resistance: agency in (post)colonial food practices
- Representation and ideologies: nostalgia, tradition and authenticity
- Colonialism’s nutritional, economic, political, and ecological impacts on global foodways
- Colonial exploitative food systems, hunger and resilience
Guidelines for Paper Proposals
The conference program consists of plenary keynote lectures, paper presentations and panel discussions. If you are interested in presenting a paper at the conference, please submit an abstract before 5 March 2019. Please expect to be presenting to an audience of up to 200 people, including academic as well as professional participants. The conference language is English. Presenters of accepted papers are asked to speak 20 minutes, as lively and engaging as possible, followed by a discussion with the panel and the audience under the supervision of a session chair.
Applications should include:
- title of proposed paper
- abstract (maximum 500 words)
- biographical information (short CV)
- contact information (e-mail, telephone and postal address)
Applications should be sent by the deadline of 5 March 2019 to: Foodhistoryfirstname.lastname@example.org
Notification of acceptance:
Participants are free to make their own accommodation booking. Many hotels are situated in the vicinity of the conference venue in the Amsterdam historic city centre. The following website can be useful: www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting.
Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam
The Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam preserve and maintain the academic heritage of the university. There are over a thousand sub-collections, comprising rare and valuable books, manuscripts, prints, photographs and much, much more. The collections serve educational and research purposes but are also there for the general public.
Amsterdam School of Historical Studies, University of Amsterdam
The Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH) is a research institute of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam. The institute focuses on culture and history. Research is organized both along thematic lines (religion, the city, theatre, conflict, medicine), and in terms of periods in time (e.g. the classical period, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Golden Age, the contemporary period), which are studied from an interdisciplinary perspective (art, history, literature, music, theatre, etc.).
Social & Cultural Food Studies (FOST) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
FOST is a research group for social and cultural food studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The research group, founded in April 2003, works in collaboration with the Vlaams Centrum voor Volkscultuur, the Institut Européen de l’Histoire de l’Alimentation and the Institut National de Recherche Agronomique.
FOST aims at consolidating the expertise on foodstudies by inviting (foreign) specialists to workshops and colloquia, by operating within networks, by publishing and contemplating about food studies, and by performing new (multidisciplinary) food research.
For the details on the topics and the programme of the Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food of the past years please click on the titles:
The Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food has been made possible with the generous support of Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam School for Historical Studies – University of Amsterdam, Bibliotheken Eemland, Carrera Culinair, Cormet, CPNB, Fontaine Uitgeverij, Huizinga Instituut, Hotel De l’Europe, Pitch PR, Nieuw Amsterdam Publishers, Nijgh Cuisine, Slow Food Amsterdam and Stichting Gastronomische Bibliotheek.