Call for Papers: Devouring: Food, Drink and the Written Word, 1800-1945

Call for Papers: Devouring: Food, Drink and the Written Word, 1800-1945

Conference Saturday 8 March 2014 at Warwick, United Kingdom

This one day interdisciplinary conference will explore the place of food,
drink and acts of consumption within the textual culture of the nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries.

The years 1800-1945 are marked by food adulteration scandals, the growth
of the temperance movement, and significant reforms in the regulation and
legislation of food standards, as well as the influence of the colonies on
British cuisine and a relationship with food and drink made increasingly
complex by wartime paucity and rationing.

These changes are both precipitated and responded to in a vast array of
textual forms, including periodicals, the press, recipe books, household
management manuals, propaganda, literature and poetry. This conference
will therefore engage with the intersections of food/drink cultures and
the written word.

We are seeking papers which explore how food and drink were written,
experienced and imagined during the period: as a commodity, a luxury item,
a source of poison or nutrition, in its abundance or in short supply.

We hope to attract all researchers who have an interest in the culinary
cultures of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including those
working in the histories of medicine, art and food, as well as
anthropologists, historians of the nineteenth century and war years, and
those working in literary studies.

By bringing together scholars from many disciplines, we hope to provide a
space in which to open up dialogue about nineteenth and early twentieth
century narratives of eating, drinking, consuming, and their worth, and to
provide a timely examination of our relationship with food and drink at a
moment when economic and ecological pressures herald a re-appropriation of
the values of wartime thrift and Victorian domestic economy.

Possible topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

Representations of food and drink in specific texts and their wider
Cultures of eating, drinking and cooking.
Social histories of food and drink.
The uses of food and drink in the articulation (or challenging) of
community, nation or empire.
Food or drink as metaphor/trope/structural device.
The relationship(s) between reading and eating or drinking.
The role of food and drink in cultural constructions of domestic space.
Perspectives from ‘fat studies’/‘fat feminism’.
Gendered practices of food and drink consumption.
Food and drink in medical/psychiatric discourse: alcoholism, eating
disorders, compulsive behaviour.
The cultural legacies and/or persistence of Victorian and early twentieth
century cultural imaging of food and drink.
Recipe books, household management manuals and aspirational food.
The narrating of gluttony or hunger.
Textual representations of farms, breweries, pubs and restaurants.

Applicants should note that papers may also be considered for inclusion in
a possible publication resulting from the conference.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words, accompanied by a brief biographical
note of no more than 100 words, should be sent to
by 31st October 2013.

This conference is being organised by Mary Addyman, Laura Wood and
Christopher Yiannitsaros (University of Warwick).