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.


  • Taste construction
  • Taste & Cognition
  • Taste & Social Reproduction
  • Social Distinction
  • Taste & Boundaries
  • Taste & Empowerment
  • Taste and Transnationalism
  • Taste and the Body
  • Highbrow and lowbrow taste
  • Neuroscience and taste
  • Veganism and vegetarianism
  • Food as a social movement


  • Food as a Cultural System
  • Ethnic Food Resistance
  • Food for the Gods
  • Locavorism
  • Food Retrovolution
  • Slow Food
  • Alternative Food Networks
  • Cultural Transmission
  • Food Social Spaces
  • High and low cuisines
  • Food heritage
  • Anthropology of eating


  • Macro Food Politics
  • National Health Plan
  • The Place of Food at School
  • Innovations in Food Education
  • Construction of National Cuisine
  • The Role of Street Foods
  • Food History
  • The Role of Chefs
  • Food and nutrition
  • Food security education
  • Food losses and food waste
  • Sensory education vs. neophobia
  • Economics of Food Education
  • Critical Food Literacy


  • Food Design
  • Food Journalism
  • Food Critics & Dominant Taste
  • Food and Literature
  • Corporate Communication on Food
  • Food innovation
  • Food marketing and advertising
  • Institutional Communication
  • Social Media and Food
  • Food labels
  • Communication and food pathologies
  • Food Community Networks
  • Food risk communication
  • Food communication and consumer behaviour

Why You Should Attend

Cutting-Edge Academic Event
This international food conference is the first of its kind in Asia-Pacific.
Interdisciplinary thinking approach
The conference is interdisciplinary in nature, as we at KITA-UKM believe it is the only way for science, and especially social science to progress.
Build International network and learn from other countries research
Listen to focused-academic presentations by scholars from all over the world and high-level key note international speakers.
Publishing Opportunity
Presenters will get the opportunity to publish their papers at two levels, firstly in form of proceedings through UKM Press (a highly referenced university publishing house); secondly, selected top papers will be offered a premium publishing avenue with Springer Singapore.

Participate on a firm resolution to take for 2018
At the end of the conference, delegates will be requested to reach a consensus about a firm resolution to take for 2017, relating to either better ‘taste’, ‘culture’, ‘education’, or ‘communication’.

Impact of this resolution will be measured through 2018 and findings shall be presented at the next conference.

Enriching and entertaining experience

Conference attendees will enjoy edutainment activities, industry inputs, workshops, and  being in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s city centre at a beautiful five-star hotel.
Authentic local food
Special attention will be obviously given to the food served during the conference, making it reflect the multi-ethnic diversity of Malaysia.


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