CFP: Food and Drink in the Ancient World

Food and Drink in the Ancient World

Rutgers University, May 31 - June 1, 2019
Keynote Speaker: Kristina Killgrove, UNC Chapel Hill

Human activity is regulated by the constant need to acquire and consume food. Assuredly, food and drink played a significant role in antiquity just as now, and, since we all must eat and drink, we naturally become curious about what and how our distant ancestors ate and drank (Alcock 2006). The study of food and drink in the ancient world expanded tremendously in the 1990s and has continued to do so in the decades following (e.g. Davison 1997, Garnsey 1999, Wilkins and Hill 2006). This resultant trend is partly owed to a focus in research less preoccupied with the great deeds of great men, but one open to seeing antiquity as a period that offers a wealth of information on the varied life of the everyday world (Donahue 2015).

One does not need to look far in the corpus of classical literature to find mention of viands—there is animal sacrifice in the epics of Homer and Vergil, ever-flowing wine in the sympotic and love elegies of Alcaeus and Horace, conceited cooks in the comedies of Aristophanes and Plautus, and indulgence in the elite banquets of theDeipnosophistai and Satyrica. Beyond these portraits, there are ancient treatises specifically devoted to the topic of food and drink—both philosophical, such as Porphyry’s On Abstinence from Animal Food, and medical, e.g. Galen’s On the Power of Foods. In supplementation of investigations based on literary texts, archaeology has produced an immense amount of information for our understanding of consumption in antiquity. From grand tomb finds to the more ordinary discoveries of kitchen utensils, excavations have dramatically clarified our picture of ancient dining. Archaeozoology and archaeobotany have helped answer questions about ancient diets, as have the osteological analyses associated with bioarchaeology.

We invite abstracts for papers that explore the topic of food and drink through various disciplines, such as Classics, Archaeology, Anthropology, Food Science, and related fields. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

 -  The Ancient Mediterranean Diet

      -   Staple foods in the Mediterranean (wine, oil, and bread; cereals and legumes)

      -   Meat consumption, availability of seafood

      -   Specialized diets, medical approaches to nutrition (e.g. for the military, athletes, infirm)

 -  The Social Context of Food and Drink

      -   Sacrifices and offerings, public and communal meals

      -   Variations in diet based on social class

      -   Food supply and shortages, grain doles (e.g. frumentatioannona)

 -  Food as a Point of Contact, Creator of Identity, Delimitation of Otherness

      -   Import and markets, especially for spices and exotic ingredients

      -   Horticulture, soil chemistry, and cultivation of local specialties

      -   Taboos (e.g. beer and milk as barbarian; cannibalism as historical fact or political slander)

 -  Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages

      -   Wine and viticulture (e.g. merummulsum, and conditum)

      -   Access to potable water, aqueducts

      -   Drinking vessels (e.g. kylikesskyphoikantharoi, and their images)

Our confirmed keynote speaker is Dr. Kristina Killgrove, teaching assistant professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, research scholar at the Ronin Institute, and senior contributor to Forbes. Dr. Killgrove, a bioarchaeologist, will deliver a talk on Roman diet and its correlation to disease, climate change, and migration.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words (excluding bibliography) by February 1st, 2019 to rutgers.foodanddrinkconference@gmail.com. Be sure to include any audio-visual needs in this email. Papers should be no more than 20 minutes in length. Please include in the email your name, affiliation, and contact information. The abstract itself should be anonymous. Questions may be sent to the same email. Successful applicants should expect to hear back from conference organizers by February 28th, 2019. In addition to providing accommodation, we are looking forward to hosting an ‘ancient’ feast for the conference organizers and speakers.

(Written by Emmanuel Aprilakis and Nicole Nowbahar [PhD Students, Rutgers University])

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(Photo: "Handwritten" by A. Birkan, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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Here is a perhaps unfinished poem I wrote today about Helen, partly inspired by reading Ruby Blondell's great book on the character; partly by trying to come up with a translation of Euripides' "Helen" that gets the tone right; and partly by life.

I am the woman with the golden hair.
The one you're looking at -- but I'm not there.

You think I'm not quite human.  Maybe not --
you don't know who I am or what I want.
I'm wanted.  But it seems like an excuse.
She wanted something else, and so did Zeus.
I'm staring in my mirrors. What I see
is beauty, but no truth.  It isn't me.
I like the clever ones. Odysseus
is absent, just like me and just like you.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 04/18/2014 - 6:06pm by Emily Wilson.

This month’s column is adapted from a paper I gave at the invitation of the Graduate Student Issues Committee at the CAMWS meeting in Waco earlier this month.

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View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 04/15/2014 - 9:52am by T. H. M. Gellar-Goad.

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The Institute for Advanced Study offers opportunities for scholars for 2015-2016.  School of Historical Studies, Opportunities for Scholars 2015-2016.  The Institute is an independent private institution founded in 1930 to create a community of scholars focused on intellectual inquiry, free from teaching and other university obligations.  Scholars from around the world come to the Institute to pursue their own research.  Candidates of any nationality may apply for a single term or a full academic year.  Scholars may apply for a stipend, but those with sabbatical funding, other grants, retirement funding or other means are also invited to apply for a non-stipendiary membership.  Some short-term visitorships (for less than a full term, and without stipend) are also available on an ad-hoc basis.  Open to all fields of historical research, the School of Historical Studies’ principal interests are the history of western, near eastern and Asian civilizations, with particular emphasis upon Greek and Roman civilization, the history of Europe (medieval, early modern, and modern), the Islamic world, East Asian studies, art history, the history of science and philosophy, modern international relations, and music studies.  Residence in Princeton during term time is required.  The only other obligation of Members is to pursue their own research.  The Ph.D.

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View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Wed, 04/09/2014 - 2:32pm by Adam Blistein.

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) has announced the results of its 2013-2014 Fellowship competition, and three APA members are among the 65 recipients of these awards this year.  ACLS Fellowships provide salary replacement for scholars who are embarking on six to 12 months of full-time research and writing.  The APA member awardees and the titles of their projects are as follows:

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  • Ari Z. Bryen, West Virginia University, Law and the Boundaries of Authority in the Roman World
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View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 04/09/2014 - 1:25pm by Adam Blistein.

The APA has published a new issue of its outreach publication, Amphora (Spring 2014, Volume 11, Issue 1).  A PDF of the issue is posted here.  Members who requested print copies of Amphora when they paid dues in either 2013 or 2014 will receive those copies shortly as will nonmember subscribers.  Editor Ellen Bauerle and Assistant Editor Wells Hansen welcome your submissions for future issues.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 04/08/2014 - 4:13pm by Adam Blistein.

In 2014 the Society for Classical Studies (SCS), founded in 1869 as the American Philological Association, awarded the second set of its Pedagogy Awards to three outstanding classics teachers. One of the major goals of the Society's recently and successfully completed capital campaign, Gatekeeper to Gateway: The Campaign for Classics in the Twenty-first Century, was to ensure that an inspiring, well trained teacher would be available for every school and college classics classroom. A subcommittee of the Joint Committee on the Classics in American Education, whose membership is selected from both the SCS and the American Classical League, reviewed thirteen applications requesting funds to support a variety activities that would improve their teaching and their students’ experiences in the classroom. The awards received by the three successful applicants are funded by income derived from the following contributions to the Campaign’s Research and Teaching Endowment: a major gift from an anonymous donor, a contribution from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS), and donations to the Friends of Zeph Stewart Fund.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 04/03/2014 - 11:26am by Adam Blistein.

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View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 03/31/2014 - 4:16pm by Adam Blistein.

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