Edible Matters: A Sensory Symposium

Image: Diane Borsato, The Chinatown Foray, Intervention and photographs, Toronto and New York City, 2008 – 2010
Image: Diane Borsato, The Chinatown Foray, Intervention and photographs, Toronto and New York City, 2008 – 2010

Convened at the School of Communication, the University of Technology Sydney

May 10-11, 2016

• sen-sa-tion: n. 1. A perception associated with stimulation of a sense organ
or with a specific body condition. 2. The faculty to feel or perceive.
• symposium n. 1. a conference or meeting to discuss a particular subject. 2. a drinking party or convivial discussion

This symposium offers experiential opportunities for scholars to participate in two walking excursions designed to activate our senses: a food tour and a food forage. We will use these to discuss sensory and mobility methods, analytic vocabularies and research fieldnotes.

Day One focuses on a food tour of Sydney’s China and Thai towns, run by the social enterprise Taste Tours, with specific attention to the racialised, gendered, and classed dimensions of sight, taste, touch and smell. Leading food studies theorist, Dr. Jean Duruz of the University of South Australia will reflect on these issues through her own extensive body of work on food, memory, class, gender, and ethnicity. (http://www.tastetours.com.au)

Book Launch: Food Pedagogies by Rick Flowers and Elaine Swan

Day Two takes us to Western Sydney Parkland where we will participate in a wild food forage run by Diego Bonetto who will help us identify and harvest edible and medicinal wild plants. In the afternoon we’ll return to UTS for a debriefing session on questions of settler colonialism and the politics of land. There will be a guest presentation on the representation of Australian native foods in relations to discourses of nature, Indigenous culture, and nationalism by Dr. Charlotte Craw, Curator at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and author of a number of important papers on the cultural politics of Indigenous foods and heritage. (http://www.diegobonetto.com)

Attendance at the workshop requires a full commitment to the full two-day program and preparatory readings. Due to the experiential and participatory nature of the event, it is open to a maximum of 15 participants.

Funding for the symposium is from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada as part of the www.walkinglab.org research grant on walking and sensory methodologies. The event is co-hosted by Dr. Elaine Swan, University of Technology Sydney and Dr. Stephanie Springgay, University of Toronto. Interested participants should send a 50 word bio and a 100 word statement of interest to stephanie.springgay@utoronto.ca