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ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS  April 2013

ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS April 2013

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Subject:

Fwd: Call for Papers: Desert Foods and Food Deserts

From:

Rafi Grosglik <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Rafi Grosglik <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 1 Apr 2013 09:52:47 +0300

Content-Type:

multipart/mixed

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text/plain (148 lines) , International Conference on Desert Food and Food Deserts-RFT-release (2) (1).pdf (148 lines)

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*Call for Papers: **Desert Foods and Food Deserts: **Scarcity, Survival and
Imagination*

International Conference**

* **19  21 November 2013 *

*Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel*

*
*

The terms "Desert" and "Food" seem irreconcilable: deserts are associated
with aridity, scarcity, and the struggle to survive in inhospitable
environments, and are rarely related to the pleasures of fine cooking and
dining. Research of desert societies, however, reveals time and again the
ingenuity and resourcefulness of desert dwellers, who manage to eke out of
their meager environment much more than the calories and nutrients
essential for their survival. Indeed, desert cuisines, whether Mexican,
Native-American, Bedouin, Mongolian, Aboriginal-Australian or Inuit, may
seem simple and even coarse to the uninitiated, yet are surprisingly
complex and varied, making for an outstanding human achievement.

If desert foods represent human ingenuity at its best, food deserts,
defined as disadvantaged urban areas with poor access to retail food
outlets, or as areas where food retail is scarce and expensive and where
much of the available food is industrialized, processed, expensive and of
low nutritional quality, stand for the degradation of the human condition
in the context of modern urbanism.

The distinction between "desert foods" and "food deserts" is not without
ambiguity. Processes of modernization undergone by some groups living in
desert areas have indeed undermined local and traditional culinary
practices and hastened the expansion of fast-food chains into those areas.
However, at the same time, a counter-reaction to this process has brought
about creative and innovative ideas and practices which seek to produce and
distribute quality food in a non-alienated environment. Examples of this
include community vegetable gardens, farmers' markets and social networks
for the exchange of knowledge and information regarding the cultivation and
procurement of fresh food products.

Beer Sheva is the perfect venue for hosting such conference. Israel's
"Capital of the Desert" is located at the heart of the Negev Desert and
constitutes the administrative, commercial, and cultural center of the
surrounding desert communities. The city draws Bedouin semi-nomad shepherds
and town dwellers, Jewish farmers in communal and private agricultural
settlements, as well as large numbers of migrant workers from different
countries, and serves as their culinary centre.

Up until recently, Beer Sheva was a typical "food desert", featuring mainly
cheap local fast-food venues as well as small and medium size grocery shops
("minimarkets"). Rising income, the influx of immigrants from the former
USSR, the expansion of Ben-Gurion University and the growing communities of
migrant workers from Africa and Asia, have led to new and diverse culinary
demands. Beer Sheva is now an exciting hub of culinary experimentation and
innovation, influenced by its multicultural and multiethnic social
mosaic.

The conference seeks to unravel and discuss the rich and diverse culinary
concepts and practices in both actual deserts and symbolic ones. To that
end it will provide a platform to both scholars and practitioners. Keynote
speakers at the conference will be: *Prof. Sami Zubaida, **Chef Israel
Aharoni. *

*
*

*
*

We seek sessions and individual papers that deal with various aspects of
desert foods, food deserts, and possibly their interface. "Deserts" are
understood in the broadest possible sense of the term and include any
region, territory or era where food is/was scarce and hard to get.

As the conference will also include a non-academic session with the
participation of culinary practitioners from various fields proposals are
also welcome for that session.





*Potential topics include*:

         Food tourism in the desert

         Food and Politics in the Desert

         Migrant and native cuisines in the desert

         Desert foodways of nomads and permanent settlers

         Ecology, geography and nutrition

         Food deserts and globalization

         Food, nutrition and meaning in scarce environments



The conference is hosted by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in cooperation with the Israeli
Association for Culinary Culture, and is supported by The Hertzog Center
for Middle East Studies and Diplomacy. The Conference conveners are Dr. Nir
Avieli [log in to unmask], Dr. Nimrod [log in to unmask], Prof.
Aref Abu-Rabiah [log in to unmask] and Mr. Rafi Grosglik, [log in to unmask]
Members of the academic committee include Prof. Yoram Meital, , Prof. Pnina
Motzafi-Haller, Dr. Julia Lerner and Dr. Uri Shwed.

Attendance at the conference is free and the lectures are open to the
public. Pending budget approval, the organizers will provide all speakers
with free university accommodation and half board. The program includes
study tours in Beer Sheva and the Negev Desert.



Please send abstracts of up to 250 words to [log in to unmask] by *MAY
15 2013*.

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