We invite submission of abstracts for inclusion in our panel on Food, Identity and Wellbeing of Migrants to take place at the 17th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. This takes place in Manchester, UK in August 2013. We welcome research from a wide variety of ethnographic contexts to be sent by 29 July, 2011. Further details of the panel and contact information can be found below.
17th World Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences
University of Manchester
Identity, Food and Wellbeing of Migrants
Prof. Andrea Pieroni (University of Gastronomic Sciences, Italy)
Dr. Sarah Keeler (University of Exeter, UK)
21st century conditions of mass migration and globalisation have led to the emergence of hybridised forms and practices of cultural consumption, as well as the contradictory process of rendering various forms of cultural ‘otherness’ ever more salient. This is not least so in relation to food and foodways, where the old adage ‘you are what you eat’ raises interesting questions of identity and consumption in an age of globalisation. In this context - with processed foods ubiquitous, consumers often deploying food habits as markers of identity, and popular interest in so-called ‘super foods’ and the healing properties of diet gaining mass attention - foodways are a central means by which migrants maintain both a sense of identity and wellbeing in the face of movement.
The relationship between food and culture has been of interest for anthropologists since the seminal works of Douglas and Levi Strauss brought attention to the ritual significance of foodstuffs, their preparation and consumption. More recently, research in the area of material culture has shed light on the affective qualities of material culture including foodways, while ethno-medicine and ethno-pharmacology have drawn increasing attention to the relationship between culture, food and nutrition in the context of globalisation and mass migrations. Yet all these fields of study seem to co-exist largely in isolation, without drawing significantly on inter-disciplinary exchange. And despite these developments, rarely has an understanding of health and wellbeing been extended to a consideration of emotional states, metal wellbeing, or the broader relevance of food and foodways to recovery from – or the continuation of - the trauma of and adaptation to displacement. Furthermore, the continued hegemony of a biomedical approach positing a mind/body dichotomy does little to shed light on such processes in diverse cultural contexts.
Understanding the multiple functions of food - as social process, signifier of difference, ecological resource, sensory experience - this panel seeks to draw a synthesis between what are currently discreet domains of analysis. Our aim is to probe the boundaries of medical anthropology, ethno-pharmacology, nutrition, migration studies, ethnicity and identity in exploring the link between foodways (both ‘traditional’ and hybrid), health, and emotional wellbeing in the context of migration and globalisation. We seek contributions from a wide variety of ethnographic contexts which explore these thematic and disciplinary intersections, and address the relationship between food, identity, culture, physical and emotional wellbeing, and human mobility. How do ideas of globalisation and modernity affect ‘traditional’ foodways, and what are the health consequences in the context of migration? What place do food and foodways have within the current interest in ‘refugee mental health’? What is the emotional significance of food for migrants in maintaining wellbeing and collective identity? These are just some of the questions that our panel seeks to explore.
Submissions might include, but are not limited to, the following themes:
*Food, trauma and memory
*Healthcare, cultural competence and integration of migrants
*Ethnobiology of migrants
*Foodways, identity and mental health
*Nutrition, food scarcity and migrant health
*Health-seeking behaviours and medical pluralism in the context of migration
*Locally available products, culinary adaptations of migrants
We invite those whose research touches on the theme(s), to submit abstracts of 250 words, no later than 29 July, 2011. Please forward submissions, including paper title, names and affiliations of presenters, to us at the following addresses:
Dr Sarah Keeler
College of Social Science and International Studies
University of Exeter
EX4 4ND Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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