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This Group provides an opportunity for scholars to engage in the intersection of religion and food, foodways, and food ethics. We are interested in examining these topics across broad geographical areas, religious traditions, and historical eras. We seek papers investigating practices and beliefs related to food, drink, fasting, the production of food, the ethics of production and consumption, or on any aspect of religiously influenced foodways.

We welcome paper proposals. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

1) Mindful of our location in Texas and its mestiza nature, we welcome papers that consider the topic of religion and food of borderlands, broadly conceived, as well as Texas as a place where multiple food traditions flourish both in combination and in isolation from each other
2) Similarly, mindful of the indigenous peoples of the San Antonio region, and the particular relations of Traditional Ecological Knowledge, we welcome attention to religion and indigenous, Native American, and First Peoples foodways
3) Given the pandemic experience of the past year, we welcome attention to papers that consider the nexus of topics related to religion and the pandemic, food sovereignty, food apartheid, food insecurity, public health, and how faith communities have addressed these issues
4) Given renewed attention to coalition building and activism, we also welcome papers considering activism and coalition building, and religious communities, such as food preparation by church for BLM marches, and farm labor rights movement
5) We welcome papers considering the interrelation of religion, ritual, community, gender, and labor, especially in light of pandemic-related shifts
6) We also welcome papers looking to the place of religion within communal meals
7) As always, we welcome papers addressing other topics as well

Mission Statement:

This Unit provides an opportunity for scholars to engage in the intersection of religion and food, foodways, and food ethics. We are interested in examining these topics across broad geographical areas, religious traditions, and historical eras. We encourage critical reflection regarding:

• The relationships of religious commitments to food (production, preparation, consumption, and invention)
• Diet and sustainability
• Issues of food (in)justice, which may include food availability or insecurity, commitment to wellness, access to healthy foods, food deserts, etc.
• Desertification, flood, fire, and climate related food ethics issues
• Theological, spiritual, and religious interrelationships as expressed in food commitments or confluence
• The cross-cultural applicability of the categories of “religion” and “food” themselves

We seek to develop ongoing investigations into practices and beliefs related to food, drink, fasting, the production of food, the ethics of production and consumption, or on any aspect of religiously influenced foodways.

Method of Submission:

INSPIRE

 

Co-Chairs:

Derek Hicks, hicksds@wfu.edu

Benjamin Zeller, zeller@lakeforest.edu

 

Steering Committee:

Rachel Gordan, gordanrache@gmail.com

Aldea Mulhern, aldea@csufresno.edu

Elizabeth Perez, eperezphd@gmail.com

Sarah Robinson-Bertoni, sarahrobinsonbertoni@gmail.com

 

Session Allotment: Tier 1 – Two 90-minute sessions

Next Review: 2023