PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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Religion and Food Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

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 (consumption, production, and invention)
• Diet and sustainability
• Issues of food (in)justice, which may include food availability or insecurity, commitment to wellness, access to healthy foods, etc.
• 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.

Call for Papers: 

Call for Papers: 
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.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

1) Submissions that engage themes of power, particularly:
a. meat and masculinity
b. food as an agent of power (biologically speaking)
c. food as an agent of imperialism
d. food as agent of tolerance (or intolerance)

2) Submissions that engage themes of materiality, or the sensory nature of foods.

3) Inspired by our Colorado location, we also welcome submissions that treat questions of religion and intoxicants, particularly cannabis.

Potential Co-sponsored Sessions:

1) Submissions that engage the theme of “Food, Allurement, Proselytization, and Conversion” as a possible co-sponsor with the Religious Conversions Group

2) Nora Rubel's (forthcoming) book, Recipes for the Melting Pot: The Lives of the Settlement Cook Book offers a cultural biography of The Way to a Man’s Heart: The Settlement Cook Book, the most successful fundraising cookbook in American history, having seen forty printings and sold over two million copies. Non-kosher from the start, the book that emerged from a turn-of-the-century Jewish Settlement House featured traditional Jewish recipes alongside a multi-ethnic fusion that reflected not only its Midwestern, acculturated Jewish origins, but also projected cosmopolitan aspirations. Accordingly, the Study of Judaism Group and the Religion and Food Group are interested in submissions that will engage this book.

 Topics include, but are not limited to:
a) The impact of The Settlement Cook Book on the construction of a Jewish American religio-culinary culture
b) The challenges of cultural memory in maintaining religio-culinary tradition.
c) The cultural impact of carrying on food traditions in a new land
d) Food and religion’s impact on serving sub-cultural communities  
e) Connections between domestic reform and religious reform movements

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee