Redefining the Welcome Table: Inclusion and Exclusion in American Foodways

Call for Papers
September 25th-26th, 2014

Click here to download the PDF document with more information

Over the past decade, scholars have paid particular attention to the historical and contemporary roles that food has played in the development of cultures, the relationships between people and populations, and the crafting and presenting of regional and local identities.  In 2014, our nation marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which desegregated places of public accommodation including restaurants. That anniversary compels questions about inclusion and exclusion today, taking into account old and new imperatives like ethnicity, sexuality, class, gender, and race.

The Southern Foodways Alliance and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation two University of Mississippi institutes, announce a call for papers, panels, workshops, and short documentaries for fall 2014 graduate student symposium, “Redefining the Welcome Table: Inclusion and Exclusion in American Foodways” to be held at the University of Mississippi September 24th-26th, 2014. (This is the second annual graduate student foodways symposium staged by SFA.)

We invite graduate students who are studying regional foodways from across the nation and globe to join other scholars and professionals to exchange knowledge, experience, and scholarship.  In addition to discussing the relationships between foodways and inclusion and exclusion, this conference will also host panels on the state of the foodways and food studies fields, how to secure professional positions, and how to secure publishing contracts.

We invite graduate students to think broadly and precisely about the relationship of food to issues of inclusion and exclusion. Preference will be given to proposals that are situated in the American South or rely upon the South for an intellectual framework. But don’t let geography restrict you. Suggested topics related to food and the themes of inclusion and exclusion are not limited to:

  • Historical themes, including foodways and the Civil Rights movement and foodways and the long civil rights movement
  • Social, political, and economic foodways contexts
  • The intersection of food, race, class, gender expression, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, and/or other identity categories
  • Obesity, food shaming, and food access
  • Relationships between specific populations and food
  • Dining experiences related to segregation and desegregation
  • Spaces including kitchens, restaurants, and public consumption environments
  • The mystification and demystification of food
  • Local, state, regional, national and international influences
  • Competing and collaborative cultures

By June 15th, 2014 please submit a two-paragraph description of the paper or discussion session (no longer than 200 words) and a short biographical statement. We also welcome panels. Conference fees, including three chef-driven meals, are waived for accepted presenters. Travel and lodging costs are the responsibility of presenters. Please address any question and send all material to Acceptances will be emailed the week of June  30th.

The Southern Foodways Alliance ( documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. We set a common table where black and white, rich and poor — all who gather — may consider our history and our future in a spirit of reconciliation. A member-supported non-profit, based at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, the SFA stages symposia, produces documentary films, collects oral histories, sponsors scholarship, mentors students, and publishes great writing.

The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation ( works in communities and classrooms, in Mississippi and beyond to support a movement of racial equity and wholeness as a pathway to ending and transcending all division and discrimination based on difference. Scholarship and scholastic outreach, both at the University of Mississippi and reaching beyond the campus into the world, compose the Winter Institute’s academic service work. Academic service forms a critical bridge that connects our community relations work to our youth engagement, and it is a focus we are dedicated to expanding in coming years.

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