Call for Papers
Food for Thought:Culture and Cuisine in Russia and Eastern Europe, 1800-present
Symposium at the University of Texas – February 7-8, 2014
The Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies in cooperation with the Department of History and the Center for European Studies at the University of Texas at Austin are hosting a one-two day symposium on the culture of food in the Russian Empire (and Soviet Union) and its successor states as well as “Eastern Europe” broadly defined. Drawing on a wide range of sources and disciplines, speakers will explore how patterns of food cultivation, preparation, and consumption are embedded in local, national, and trans-national cultural configurations. Scholars from all disciplines are welcome to apply, but organizers especially welcome contributions from history, literary and cultural (including film and media) studies, and
anthropology. We hope to reexamine the history and culture of the region through the lens of its food—that is, cultural attitudes, marketing and packaging, memories and representations of particular foods, patterns of eating, cultural dietary restrictions, or local cultural difference that were expressed through divergent patterns of food preparation and consumption. How was food as “tradition” experienced, how was its cultivation and production gendered, how was it tied to religious or ethnic differentiation, in what ways was it processed, “packaged” or otherwise modernized—for example, tied to global patterns and flows. How was it tied to private and public socialization—the kitchen versus the restaurant or cafeteria and what did this mean for local or national cultures? How was food depicted in film and literature, described in cookbooks, marketed at home and abroad? Did food take on new meanings—cultural, political, or otherwise—under communism? And finally, what about food culture or food nostalgia after communism? We hope for creative approaches to these and other questions related to the production, consumption, exchange, and service of food in Russia and Eastern Europe from 1800-present.
Featuring Dr. Ronald LeBlanc as Keynote Speaker
“From Russian Vegetarians to Soviet Hamburgers: Tolstoy, Mikoyan, and the
Ethics/Politics of Diet.”