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Summer school: Temporalities of food


from August 26, 2012 to September 2, 2012

The University of Tours and the European Institute for the History and Cultures of Food (IEHCA)announce the tenth summer school in Tours.

In the 10th anniversary edition of the IEHCA summer school, we will reflect on the complex and multifarious relationship between food and time.

Food and time are each fundamental to the human experience, but the relationship between them, which has varied from place to place as well as through time, remains under-explored. Food routinises and is not yet consciously perceived by human bodies, whether individual or social, from the sensation of hunger to daily practices such as shopping and cooking, to the structure of daily meals or annual celebrations.

Food routines both reflect and transform the rhythms and cycles of other elements in the natural environments in which they are suspended. More intentional, or programmatic, human engagement with food may take the form of future-oriented attempts to change existing routines and practices, but it may also involve efforts to give continuity to, or recreate, particular foods, foodways, and/or food systems associated with the past.

Social position or status may profoundly affect the temporal experience of food, determining, for example, one’s ability or inclination to engage with food in the short- or the long-term. Geographical place, or social space, may also shape and be shaped by food temporalities in significant ways—some places/spaces, for example, being more conducive or responsive to the conservation of food heritage and others to cosmopolitan eclecticism.

The materiality of food may be essential to its temporality (foods perish at different rates and in different ways, with aging being essential to many), but the ever-changing technologies of human engagement with food are also crucial to time’s effects on the human experience of food (from maturation to preservation), and food’s effects on the human experience of time (from “take-away” food, to fasting and feasting).

Lectures in this summer school session will address these and other aspects of the diverse temporalities of food in the past, in the present and in imagined futures, with:
  • Thibaut Boulay, Maître de conférences, ancient history, François-Rabelais University, Tours, France
  • Allen J. Grieco, Senior Research Associate, Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Villa I Tatti, Florence, Italy
  • Peter Scholliers, Professor of History, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
  • Harry West, Professor of Anthropology, Chair Food Studies Centre, SOAS, University of London,

For more information, please click here.

To read the provisional program, please click here.

To download the application form, please click here.