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Seth Garfield, Director GAR 1.104, Mailcode B7000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-3261

Symposium: "Food for Thought: Culture and Cuisine in Russia and Eastern Europe, 1800-Present" (co-sponsor with Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies)

Fri, February 7, 2014 • Julius Glickman Conference Center, College of Liberal Arts Building

The Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies in cooperation with the Department of History, the Center for European Studies, and the Institute for Historical Studies at The University of Texas at Austin are hosting a one-two day symposium on the culture of food in the Russian Empire (and Soviet Union) and its successor states as well as “Eastern Europe” broadly defined. Drawing on a wide range of sources and disciplines, speakers will explore how patterns of food cultivation, preparation, and consumption are embedded in local, national, and trans-national cultural configurations. Scholars from all disciplines are welcome to apply, but organizers especially welcome contributions from history, literary and cultural (including film and media) studies, and anthropology. We hope to reexamine the history and culture of the region through the lens of its food—that is, cultural attitudes, marketing and packaging, memories and representations of particular foods, patterns of eating, cultural dietary restrictions, or local cultural difference that were expressed through divergent patterns of food preparation and consumption. How was food as “tradition” experienced, how was its cultivation and production gendered, how was it tied to religious or ethnic differentiation, in what ways was it processed, “packaged” or otherwise modernized—for example, tied to global patterns and flows.  How was it tied to private and public socialization—the kitchen versus the restaurant or cafeteria and what did this mean for local or national cultures? How was food depicted in film and literature, described in cookbooks, marketed at home and abroad? Did food take on new meanings—cultural, political, or otherwise—under communism? And finally, what about food culture or food nostalgia after communism? We hope for creative approaches to these and other questions related to the production, consumption, exchange, and service of food in Russia and Eastern Europe from 1800-present.

Featuring Dr. Ronald LeBlanc as Keynote Speaker
“From Russian Vegetarians to Soviet Hamburgers: Tolstoy, Mikoyan, and the Ethics/Politics of Diet.”

Ronald D. LeBlanc is Professor of Russian and Humanities at the University of New Hampshire and Center Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University.  The author of "Slavic Sins of the Flesh: Food, Sex, and Carnal Appetite in Nineteenth-Century Russian Fiction" (2009), Professor LeBlanc has written numerous “gastrocritical” studies on food and eating in the works of such writers as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gogol, Goncharov, Bulgakov, and Olesha.

Mary Neuburger
University of Texas
Department of History

Keith Livers
University of Texas
Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Tatiana Kuzmic
University of Texas
Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Link to the conference web site

Presented by the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.

Co-sponsored by: The Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies, College of Liberal Arts, Department of History, Center for European Studies, The Department of Germanic Studies, Kasman Family Lecture in Eastern European Studies, Jewish Life, Institute for Historical Studies, Department of Anthropology, Department of Sociology, The Russian House NaZdorovye, and Whole Foods Market.

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