The fourth International Symposium of CORPUS International Group for the Cultural Studies of the Body will take place on July 5th-6th in Tbilisi (Georgia). The theme of this event, organised with the support of the Ilia State University and the University of Stockholm (Sweden), will be "Diets and Food Patterns: Myths, Realities and Hopes".
As Audrey I. Richards wrote more than seventy five years ago, "Nutrition as a biological process is more fundamental than sex. In the life of the individual organism it is the more primary and recurrent physical want, while in the wider sphere of human society it determines, more largely than any other physiological function, the nature of social grouping, and the form their activities take". A human body is by essence an eater body that is in a precise cultural context and that needs to be satisfied foods and not nutriments – to use a famous Jean Tremolières's formula. Consequently, all civilisations developed knowledge about the incorporation of food by the body. Of course, these cultural productions around a biological necessity were generally linked with largest thoughts about the human nature, the world, the universe, the divinity. The basis of the dietetical systems can change, as their internal logics from a period to another, from a region to another or from a social group to another. Today, the Omega 3 and the Vitamin C are not the same things for the physicians or for your average bloke who consumes them under the form of miraculous dietary supplements. The currently fashionable ideal "traditional diets" remember that the dietetical models can be subtle constructions and good commercial products. But, they are also an invitation to observe and think about the everyday food practices and their consequences on the body avoiding excessive simplifications.
We invite researchers interested in the bio-cultural approach of human nutrition (archaeologists, anthropologists, historians, physicians, psychologists, sociologists, etc.) to participate in this meeting, especially considering one of the following themes:
Dietetical discourses and medical considerations about food: logics and evolutions of the dietetical systems; turning points in academic medical discourses about food / substitution of dietetical systems, relations between academic and popular dietetic knowledges.
Ideal "traditional diets" (Cretan diet, etc.): construction, promotion, influences on high cuisine/everyday cuisine, etc. Dietetics, nutrition sciences and ideologies: philosophical thoughts about food consumption, dieticians' visions of the society
Medicine-foods; dietary supplements, "healthier substitutes" and "detrimental foods": fashions, markets, contexts of consumption, dynamics of depreciative discourses, etc.
Eating to build oneself: dietetical sub-cultures (body builders, militant vegans, etc.), particular relationships with food (anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, etc.).
Consequences on the body of concrete food practices: nutritional deficiencies and their cultural representations, social valorisation/depreciation of the fat body, etc.
Eating in another world: dietetics and food practices in Science Fiction, popular tales, etc.
Presentations will be 20 minutes long and must be delivered in English. The proposals must include an abstract (150-300 words) and a current CV. The deadline for receiving presentation proposals is March 15th 2011. The proposals have to be sent to Frédéric Duhart (frederic.duhart(at)wanadoo.fr), Paata Donandze (paata_donadze(at)iliauni.edu.ge), Ulrica Söderlind (ulrica.soderlind(at)ekohist.su.se), F. Xavier Medina (fxmedina(at)gmail.com) and Mohey Mowafy (mmowafy(at)nmu.edu). All proposals will be evaluated by an international scientific committee. The symposium will be held July 5th-6th 2011 at the Ilia State University, Kakutsa Cholokashvili Ave 3/5, Tbilisi. Transportation, visa, travel insurance costs and accommodation will be the sole responsibility of each participant.
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