Roots and Rhizomes: The Future of Food

June 23-26, 2021 | Corvallis, Oregon

Oregon State University’s Food in Culture and Social Justice Program is pleased to host the 2021 joint annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS) and the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society (AFHVS).

The 2021 conference theme is “Roots and Rhizomes: The Future of Food.” Roots and rhizomes speak to the interdependence of plants and humans, offering strong metaphors for how to imagine a future food system that is just, ecologically grounded, and culturally relevant. Roots are not evident on the surface, yet they support and give life to the world we see, encouraging us to know and understand the deep histories of human interactions with food and food production. Following roots raises questions about how diets have changed over the years, why malnutrition and food insecurity persist, and how and why inequalities in land access are so ubiquitous. Rhizomes reach out horizontally, linking people and the assemblages that feed us. How do consumers become co-producers of the food they eat? How do we connect with each other over meals, forming families and communities? How do employers and laborers connect in restaurants and farm fields? How can disconnections be healed? This conference will make linkages between diverse geographies and different pasts and imagined futures to ask how to reimagine — and rebuild — a multispecies food community. Food justice will be highlighted in three plenary roundtables focused on Indigenous Food Sovereignty, Black Foodways, and Agricultural Labor.

More information on abstract submission and registration is coming soon.

About the Societies

The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS) is a professional organization which provides an international forum to engage in the cross-disciplinary study of food, agriculture, and health, as well as an opportunity for examining the values that underlie various visions of food and agricultural systems. From a base of philosophers, sociologists, and anthropologists, AFHVS has grown to include scientists, scholars, and practitioners in areas ranging from agricultural production and social science to nutrition policy and the humanities. AFHVS encourages participation by the growing community of researchers and professionals exploring alternative visions of the food system from numerous perspectives and approaches, including local and regional food systems; alternative food movements; agricultural and food policies, agricultural sustainability, food justice, issues of local and global food security, and food sovereignty. The organization publishes the journal Agriculture and Human Values.

The Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS) was founded in 1985, with the goals of promoting the interdisciplinary study of food and society. It has continued that mission by holding annual meetings and working with Routledge Publishing, the organization produces the quarterly journal, Food, Culture and Society. Members explore the complex relationships among food, culture, and society from numerous disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as in the world of food beyond the academy. ASFS encourages vigorous debate on a wide range of topics, such as cross-cultural perspectives on eating behaviors, gender and the food system, recipes, cookbooks, and menu as texts, politics of the family meal, malnutrition, hunger, and food security, comparative food history, and the political economy of the global food system.

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