Call for papers: Food Systems and Practices: Past, Present and Future

The Food Systems and Practices: Past, Present and Future conference will be taking place on 27-28 June 2023.

"Food Systems and Practices: Past, Present and Future - Call for papers, deadline: 27 February 2023."  Image:a collage of a fork, tractor, horses, crops and a petri dish with lab grown meat in it.

Systemic approaches to the cultivation, production, traffic, retail, and consumption of comestibles offer an integrated and interdisciplinary way of thinking about food and drink in societies. Food systems thinking is familiar to historians from Sidney Mintz's study of the place of sugar in modern history (Sweetness and Power, 1985). It was codified by Polly Ericksen in the context of research on global environmental change and further extended here in Sheffield by Peter Horton and colleagues.

The idea of food systems has been useful for encouraging social and natural scientists to work together to understand the intersections between biological and social processes and the positive or negative consequences that practices in one part of a
system can have elsewhere. In the meantime, historians of various epochs and regions have examined how food and drink both shaped social and economic developments within societies and drove processes of colonial and imperial expansion, creating new
global systems as a result.

But despite this widespread interest in food systems and flows, dialogue between scholars of the past and the present is surprisingly infrequent. This conference is an opportunity to start a conversation. We invite scholars of all regions and eras and all relevant disciplines to discuss in systemic terms the production, traffic, and consumption of comestibles. We are especially keen to hear about extra-European perspectives. The aim of the workshop is threefold: to learn about methods, findings,and concerns in cognate disciplines and institutions; to think about how knowledge of the past might inform our understandings of the present (and vice versa); and to establish a network of interested partners to take these discussions forward.

Please send a title and short abstract (max 200 words) by email to: by Monday 27th February 2023.

We can pay for the attendance, refreshments, lunches, and conference dinner forall speakers.

If you are a postgraduate or ECR and would like to apply for a £150 conference bursary to help cover the costs of travel and accommodation please include an expression of interest with a short justification (as the bursaries are competitive).

We are grateful to the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) for their financial support.