Conference Organization

“The Language of Food”

My dissertation research inspired me to organize “The Language of Food,” an interdisciplinary conference held at Cornell in April 2012.  From February 2011 to April 2012, academics and practitioners from the campus and community joined together to realize this extensive project. As the Conference Organizer and Director, I curated and coordinated Johnson Museum gallery walks, Cornell Cinema film discussions, and Olin Kroch Rare Books Library menu collection tours to forge connections among professors, students, and practitioners. Major themes animating the keynotes, panels, and workshops included food’s demarcation of racial and ethnic identity, its intersections with social justice, and its relationship with built environment.

For press coverage, see Cornell Chronicle and Boston University Gastronomy Blog.

Events for Intellectual Collaboration

I hope to support and organize similar academic events in the future.  Investigating a common theme from multiple perspectives yields fresh material for all involved.  University life tends to pigeonhole academics in discrete departments, meaning that two scholars working on the same text might never meet if they come from different fields.  Conferences, colloquia, and seminars provide means for collaboration and critique.  Traditional meetings tend to involve texts and presentations, but incorporating university resources such as cinemas and museums enlivens discussion and provides material evidence of theory.  We talk about moving students out of the traditional classroom – why not allow professors and the intellectually curious regular access to such an open and dynamic learning environment as well?

The conference photo gallery below provides a curated tour of the event’s intellectual and gastronomic highlights.