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Spring 2021

Launch Events

Mark your calendars and join us for a series of four launch events! All on Zoom, last Fridays of the month, 12pm-1pm.  

January 29. VT Food Studies Program Launch 

Meet the Food Studies Program Steering Committee as we share our vision for the program’s future and invite you to contribute yours. We’ll offer a glimpse of the projects we’re scheming and the welcoming space that we’re creating. And as a preview of the broader community storytelling we’ve got planned for April, we’ll each narrate a food that connects our personal and professional lives. Download a flyer for this event here.

February 26. What Is Food Studies? Panel Discussion 

Scholars from a wide range of backgrounds will consider what food studies is and how food connects across disciplines and experiences. Panelists include Letisha Engracia Cardoso Brown (Sociology), Danille Christensen (Religion & Culture), Jacob Lahne (Food Science &  Technology), Kim Niewolny (Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education), and Courtney Thomas (Political Science), moderated by Saul Halfon (Science, Technology, and Society). The conversation will also lead to smaller breakout rooms where we can think collectively about how food studies can facilitate shared inquiry and collaborative efforts. Register for the Zoom session here. 

March 26. A Flight of Food Studies Projects 

Join us to sample some of the food studies projects already in motion at Virginia Tech and in our broader community. We’ll learn about food archives with Kira Dietz (VT Libraries), food oral histories with Jessica Taylor (History), indigenous gardening with Mae Hey (Sociology & American Indian Studies), and a food sovereignty project with Bikrum Gill (Political Science). You’ll be able to share your own ongoing or imagined projects and think about how they might intersect with the Food Studies Program. 

April 30. Food Stories: A Pitch-In

To close out the semester, join us for an interactive storytelling session about food and identity. Choose a food that tells a meaningful personal story and add it to our virtual potluck (in other words, bring it to show on screen if you can, or just be ready to describe it). We’ll build the Food Studies community while indulging in narratives of food that give texture to our lives and histories.

Other Spring 2021 Events

Fri 2/12, 1-3 PM. Book Talk by Anna Zeide, on Canned: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Confidence in the American Food Industry. Part of the "ASPECT Books" session, with presentations by three authors about their recently published books: Caroline Alphin (ASPECT alumna; Department of English, Radford University); Mauro Caraccioli (ASPECT Core faculty and Department of Political Science, VT); and Anna Zeide (ASPECT faculty affiliate and Department of History, VT). Friday, February 12 @ 1-3 pm EST. Register in advance for this meeting:

Fri 2/12, 1:30 PMDanille Christensen on "To Keep Fruit: Bottled Gooseberries and Contextual Truths." For the VT Department of Science, Technology, and Society Seminar, Food Studies Steering Committee Member, Dr. Danille Christensen, Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Religion and Culture, will be presenting her research. This presentation traces the messy circulation of bottled gooseberry recipes in the century before Nicolas Appert's purported discovery of the invention of canning, attending to the contexts in which truths take shape and accrue power. This event will be streamed live on the VT STS Facebook page. Zoom Link:

Mon 4/12, 4-5 PM. "A Taste of Justice: How Museums are Serving Up Fresh Food Histories," with Michelle Moon, author of Interpreting Food at Museums and Historic Sites and co-author (with Cathy Stanton) of Public History and the Food Movement: The Missing Ingredient. The public trusts museums and historic sites to get it right when it comes to history--but food history presentations have often misled us instead. Colonial cosplay, sketchy scholarship, and idealized visions of the abundant American "groaning board" have long pushed the truth of cooking, processing, and eating out of the historic site kitchen. Today, a new vanguard of food interpreters, hearth cooks, gardeners and scholars is freshening stale interpretations with new insight into the details of food history, broadening perspectives on culinary history through the lenses of justice, power, and access. Monday, April 12 @ 4 pm EST. Email to sign up and receive the Zoom link. Click here to download event flyer.



Check out our social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook @VTFoodStudies for posts about other food studies-related virtual events.