The Annual Food and Society Conference is organized by the Asia-Pacific Food Studies Network. This second international conference captures a broad audience who have a genuine interest in food, be it a research object or simply an authentic passion: we open our doors to chefs, scientists, writers, social scientists, food historians, industry professionals, writers, journalists, foodies, passionate amateurs, and students. Presenters in social science and humanities are especially welcome as well as scholars in other fields who believe that interdisciplinary research is the key for scientific progress and who are keen to work hand-in-hand with stakeholders from hospitality and food industry.
The construction of culinary taste may be taken at first as a sensory and aesthetic journey reserved for the global urban elites. While this trope does capture the imagination and does not lack of heuristic promises, the ambition of this second Food and Society International Conference is to investigate deeper into what lies behind the formation of taste. The stakes are high as culinary taste relates to social stratification, as it entails cultural, class, gender, generational and religious boundaries, thus playing a part toward a more tensed or cohesive society. The controversy on social reproduction versus cosmopolitan taste is more vivid than ever as it echoes the highly mediatized battle between the forces of globalization and acts of local ethnic resistance. Empathy for the ‘local’ underdog may not obliterate another critical and necessary debate: the one on the alleged inherent virtues of traditional food systems versus alternative diets and their consequences on health as well, as the sustainability of local economies and biotopes. On the other hand, writings on food education have never been so prolific but are often single-focused on cultural transmission at home, or else on best practices for taste education at school or even in specific community contexts, notwithstanding associations or NGO-driven educational experiments.
We welcome papers exploring causal dialectics that shape the construction of culinary taste alongside the food supply, transformation and consumption chain, including the role of the food industry’s corporate communication and advertising. Examples of specific topics listed here below are for illustrative purpose only, but not limited to.