CFP: "Food: Sacrificial, Spiritual, and Secular" (14th Annual TACMRS)

The Fourteenth International Conference of the Taiwan Association of Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Studies (TACMRS)

23-24 October 2020
National Taiwan University

Call for Papers

Food: Sacrificial, Spiritual, and Secular

Food, whether secular or spiritual, physical or metaphysical, human or nonhuman, has been an important issue throughout the history of this planet. Human history is a long story of appetitive contest with nature and the environment, while consumption is an empowering practice that involves struggle and sacrifice. The matter of food may illuminate or complicate histories of labor, leisure, science, production, ethical considerations, religious discourse and practices, and environmental concerns.

Eating and drinking are not only biological behaviors but also acts filled with deeper significance. In the Book of Genesis, God endows humans with ascendancy over the natural world, just as Noah is instructed that every living thing is a potential meal for humankind. The rules for the edible and nonedible in the Bible concern the establishment of a communal identity. In Greek mythology, the change of the seasons is caused by Persephone’s eating of the seeds of a pomegranate in Hades. In the Iliad, Achilles’s refusal to eat indicates both his super- and sub-human status. Eating and drinking in many religions also serve as fundamental metaphors for human connectedness with the divine. For Christians, the Eucharistic bread and wine denote the continuing presence of Jesus in the world, whether in sign or reality, as is graphically portrayed by the Ugolino episode in Dante’s Inferno.

Food, drink, and modes of consumption have been crucial topics in many fields and periods. Plato and Xenophon, for example, considered a symposium the perfect place and time for philosophical inquisitions, where the banquet of wisdom could be consumed. In medieval English romances, banquets and feasts are not only social occasions but also venues where miracles and mysteries happen. In Thomas More’s Utopia, the moral meanings and ethical implications of diet are treated in the context of the design of the farms and dietary treatises. Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew shows how food intakes were thought to influence the balance of the four bodily humors when Petruchio denies Katherine meat in an attempt to quench her feisty temper. Lady Mary Wroth’s 1621 prose romance Urania reflects the social changes around banqueting with particular reference to the court of King James I. In Ben Jonson’s Volpone, the protagonist’s excessive desire, social abnormality, and moral degeneration is demonstrated by the consumption of parrots, nightingales, peacocks, and ostriches. In the visual arts, food and drink also serve as important cultural repositories of numerous allegories and symbols. While Cornucopias celebrate abundance and thanksgiving, apples in devotional paintings frequently symbolize redemption. Furthermore, in material culture, importation of exotic food bore witness to the burgeoning globalization evidenced by frequent international trade and cultural exchange. Oranges stood for wealth in regions such as Flanders after being imported from Spain, while pineapples with their crown-like bracts made their way to European furniture and paintings as images of power after being imported from South America.

To explore the important issues of food/drink/consumption, this conference welcomes papers from scholars working in all fields such as anthropology, geography, history, literature, art, politics, sociology, religion, and cultural studies from the pre-modern to the early modern periods. Topics for consideration might include (but are not limited to):

Art and Visualization of food/drink/consumption

Boundaries of the edible and nonedible

Critical explorations of food/drink/consumption

Culinary writings

Politics of food/drink/consumption

Religion, Heresy, or the Sacred Forms of food/drink/consumption

Food/drink/consumption and Fasting, Festivity, or Medicine

Food/drink/consumption and Emotions, Obsessions, or Language

Food/drink/consumption and Gender, Racial Identity, or Society

Food/drink/consumption and the Moralistic/Legislative

Food/drink/consumption and Ecology, Philosophy, or Theology

Food/drink/consumption and Medievalism or Technology

TACMRS warmly invites papers either in English or Chinese that reach beyond the traditional chronological and disciplinary borders of Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies. This conference will comprise Paper sessions and a Roundtable discussion for pedagogy. Paper proposals and sponsored panel proposals (with individual paper abstracts) are welcomed. To ensure the quality of the papers presented, the presenters should submit drafts of full papers by the end of August 2020. Selected full papers will be peer-reviewed and published in a special issue of Ex-position, the journal housed in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at NTU (http://ex-position.org/).

Please submit proposals (250 words for English, 500 words for Chinese) along with a one-page CV to tacmrs.ntu @gmail.com by 10 February 2020. The Conference will take place on 23-24 October 2020 at National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan. There is no registration fee for the conference. Please note, presenters should be members of TACMRS if they reside in Taiwan. Membership application forms can be downloaded from the TACMRS website or via email upon request. For more information, please visit the 2020 TACMRS Conference website at https://2020tacmrs.wordpress.com/ and the TACMRS website at http://tacmrs.org.tw/main.php.

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

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As we all contend with the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 Coronavirus, I want to start by highlighting a gratifying fact: the indispensable expert and voice of reason, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, majored in Classics as an undergraduate at Holy Cross!  This is a timely and inspiring reminder that Classics majors go on to distinguish themselves in many different careers and to perform many kinds of vital service.

I also want to emphasize that, despite the ongoing crisis, the SCS is fully up-and-running. Our three fulltime staff members, Helen Cullyer, Cherane Ali, and Erik Shell, have made a seamless transition to working remotely, thanks to careful advance planning on their part. They are maintaining regular business hours even as they work remotely, and are available to help our members however they can.

View full article. | Posted in Presidential Letters on Sun, 03/29/2020 - 2:22pm by Helen Cullyer.

­­The Classics Everywhere initiative, launched by the SCS in 2019, supports projects that seek to engage communities worldwide with the study of Greek and Roman antiquity in new and meaningful ways. As part of this initiative the SCS has been funding a variety of projects ranging from reading groups comparing ancient to modern leadership practices to collaborations with artists in theater, music, and dance. In this post we focus on projects that bring creativity and science into the Classics classrooms of secondary schools from California to Louisiana, New Jersey, and New York.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 03/27/2020 - 6:25am by .

The SCS Board of Directors has endorsed a statement by the American Sociological Association on faculty review and reappointment during COVID-19.

Read the statement and full list of signatories at this link

https://www.asanet.org/news-events/asa-news/asa-statement-regarding-faculty-review-and-reappointment-processes-during-covid-19-crisis

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Mon, 03/23/2020 - 4:26pm by Helen Cullyer.

As the pandemic known as COVID-19 grips the globe, thousands of instructors in the United States and elsewhere have been asked to transition their courses online for the remainder of the semester. To some instructors, such as the superb Classics professors at the Open University, distance learning has become a normalized pedagogy. To many others facing teaching online: this is uncharted territory.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 8:43am by Sarah E. Bond.

Please see the following on access to digital resources during COVID-19:

1. The digital Classical Loeb Library recently announced that it is making its subscription free to all schools and universities affected by COVID-19 until June 30, 2020. Librarians should email loebclassics_sales@harvard.edu for more details. In addition, SCS members can access the library for free until June 30, 2020 via the For Members Only page of our website. Log on to https://classicalstudies.org and access the For Members only page via our Membership menu. 

2. Johns Hopkins University Press and a number of publishers that contribute content to Project Muse are making books and journals freely accessible for several months. JHUP journals include AJP, TAPA, and CW. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 03/19/2020 - 9:03am by Helen Cullyer.

Results and materials from the Classics tuning project we've mentioned in prior newsletters are now available publicly. See the below press release from the project's authors for full details:

THE ACM CLASSICS TUNING PROJECT: REPOSITORY OF MATERIALS

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 03/18/2020 - 11:02am by Erik Shell.

We're proud to announce the digital publication of "Careers for Classicists: Undergraduate Edition." This work is a completely new version of our previous "Careers for Classicists" pamphlet, providing the latest insights on how undergraduate classics majors can best prepare for jobs in a variety of fields.

You can read this newest publication in our online book format here: https://classicalstudies.org/careers-classicists-undergraduate-edition

We'd like to thank Adriana Brook, Eric Dugdale, and John Gruber-Miller for doing so much work in putting this volume together. The print version of "Careers" will be available in a few months, and will be one of several benefit choices for departmental membership.

And, in case you missed it, you can read the Graduate Student version of this publication here: https://classicalstudies.org/careers-classicists-graduate-student-edition

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 03/16/2020 - 12:51pm by Erik Shell.
We realize that this is a time of unprecedented turmoil, disruption, and challenge in all our personal and professional lives. SCS is delaying deadlines for 2021 annual meeting program submission in the hope that some extra time will be helpful to anyone planning to submit. The new deadlines are:
 
- April 21 (by 11.59pm EDT) for all submissions other than individual abstracts and lightning talks
- April 28 (by 11.59pm EDT) for all individual abstracts and lightning talks
 
As circumstances change, we will continue to adapt. While it is too early to say what effect COVID-19 will have on our annual meeting in January 2021, we will adjust as necessary and provide an annual meeting in some form. 
 
View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Sun, 03/15/2020 - 4:26pm by Helen Cullyer.

Here is a modest aggregation of some helpful links and resources that link out to other resources. Thanks to all who have shared their wisdom online:

https://classicalstudies.org/about/so-you-have-teach-online-now

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Sun, 03/15/2020 - 9:51am by Helen Cullyer.

Dear Members, 

As of Friday March 13, 2020, SCS staff will be working remotely until further notice. We have taken this step in order to comply with the current policies of NYU, our host institution. Fortunately, we expect there to be little disruption to our operations. You can still do the following online:

Renew your membership

Use the placement service

Make a submission for the 2021 meeting

Make a donation

- Access all portions of our website as usual

The best way to contact us during this period is at info@classicalstudies.org. We will respond promptly. To reach us by phone, please use 646 939 0435. We plan to check our physical mail on a regular basis but would prefer members to use online communication if possible at this time. 

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Thu, 03/12/2020 - 8:22pm by Helen Cullyer.

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