Call for Papers 2024

Dublin Gastronomy Symposium 2024 - Food and Memory: Traces, Trauma and Tradition

Submissions for papers for the DGS 2024 are now closed. If you have submitted a proposal, you will be informed about its acceptance by 06 November 2023.

Food leaves traces – in our memories, our cultures, our habits, our bodies, our tools and vessels, our landscapes and in language. The Céide Fields in North Mayo in Ireland are the oldest known field system globally, dating to 6,000 years ago, and are hidden under a blanket bog, making it the most extensive stone age monument in the world. It was discovered by Patrick Caulfield in the 1930s when traces of stone walls were noticed when cutting away the bog for turf (fuel). Hypothesised as the remnants of dairy farming, since beef farming would not require such regular enclosures, traces of dairy lipids in sherds of pottery discovered in the Céide Fields have confirmed this and revealed that dairying was one of the very earliest farming practices in evidence in Ireland. In North Mayo and in many other areas of the West of Ireland, traces of cultivation ridges are still visible in the landscape although they have not been tilled in over half a century. Surnames such as Butcher, Baker, Farmer, Gardener, Cook, Appleby, Keller, Kohl, Malinowski, Mandelbaum, Mei and Pasternack all carry traces of food trades or food stuffs, as do place names such as Coney Island, Grenada, Moose Jaw, Salzburg, Goose Green and Cape Cod. The word broadcast now principally associated with radio or television originates in the agricultural practice of dispersing seeds on the ground by hand, literally the seeds were broadly cast. Traces of our ancestor’s diet can be found in coprolites, or in the stomachs of bog bodies, which show great diversity of eating patterns quite often linked with the seasons. Folklore, songs and poetry are used by many cultures to educate the next generations about which foods are safe to eat and at what time of year. Some foods once commonly eaten have been abandoned due to the trauma of poverty, starvation or famine. Can traces of trauma be found in our modern food consumption patterns? Do we eat certain foods to keep alive memories of our ancestor’s traumatic pasts? How quickly are food and drink traditions lost, and what happens when they are lost without a trace?

The 2024 Dublin Gastronomy Symposium invites abstracts around the theme of Food and Memory: Traces, Trauma and Traditions. As with previous symposia, authors are encouraged to interpret the theme from a broad perspective including but not limited to the following:

  • Landscape: agriculture, foraging
  • Tools, vessels, geology, fossils, cave paintings
  • Memories of previous cost/economic changes (conversion of older currencies/bartering etc./when a pint of milk/beer cost pence and shillings and so on)
  • When food items were at one time elite, rare, or common and have now become the opposite (wild salmon, oysters, pineapples, pepper, salt etc.)
  • Memories in historical wine vintages
  • Tracing lineage, ancestry, last names
  • Memory/nostalgia: memoirs, family recipes, migration...
  • Body: gut health, obesity, traditional medicine, addiction, nutrition
  • Habits/gestures
  • Cultural history, tradition
  • Beverages: historic yeast strains, mashbills, recipes
  • Food as learning
  • Cities: urban spaces, built environment, street names, urban farms
  • Art and writing: memoirs, ethnographies, still lives, cookbooks…
  • Trace elements
  • Institutional memory: policy, education, business
  • Trauma/psychology
  • Memory/ Nostalgia in literature and the arts
  • Abstracts (length 250 words) will be accepted from March 2023 - deadline to submit a proposal abstract is 15 September. Please submit your proposal abstract here

    You will be notified whether your proposal is accepted by 06 November 2023. The full paper shall be 4,000 words in length, excluding references, and will be due in early February 2024 in order to undergo peer review before publication ahead of the conference.