Seminar: Nourishing the Volk - Food and Foodways in Central Europe

German Studies Association, 40th Annual Conference

San Diego, CA, September 29-October 2, 2016


Gesine Gerhard (University of the Pacific)
Andrew Kloiber (McMaster University)
Heather R. Perry (University of North Carolina, Charlotte)

Seminar Description:

This seminar will explore the significance of food and foodways in the lived experiences and symbolic identities of Central Europeans. As both a category and an object of analysis, food has been drawing increasing attention from historians, cultural theorists, anthropologists, and sociologists, who have come to recognize the significant role of food and foodways in the shaping of cultural identities - be they national, religious, or gendered in scope. Social scientists have been investigating more deeply the quotidian significance of food and foodstuffs during times of great social change or strife. Beyond the obvious health impact that food scarcity has upon the human body, food insecurity has played a significant role in military, political, and economic affairs. In addition to these material aspects of food, however, diet and cuisine have long been powerful aspects of identity in representations of self and “the other” in literature, film, painting, and other media. Thus the seminar organizers agree that the most fruitful examinations of food and foodways come from multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches.

Seminar Format:

This seminar will be organized around the 3 conceptual categories of Gender, Nation, and Economy and is based around pre-circulated papers submitted by each participant describing her or his food research. In the seminar we will discuss these papers with particular attention as to how the food‐related research of the participants challenges or sheds new light on each of these categories/subjects of analysis.

We encourage applications from all GSA disciplines and time periods and all interested participants should submit a 250-word abstract which outlines how your food‐themed research intersects with one (or more) of these categories.

Applications must be submitted through the GSA's website at <> by January 28, 2016.  Applicants must be current members of the GSA.

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Heather R. Perry, Ph.D. | Associate Professor of History
UNC Charlotte | Dept. of History, 226 Garinger
9201 University City Blvd. | Charlotte, NC 28223

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