Call for papers: Eating Anatolia: Remembered Histories and Forgotten Foods

Tabgha - A Byzantine mosaic of the basket of loaves and fishes next to the altar of the Church of th

First we eat, then we do everything else.”  – MFK Fisher

Koç University’s department of Archaeology and History of Art is pleased to announce “Eating Anatolia: Remembered Histories and Forgotten Foods,” its second annual Graduate Student Symposium, May 3rd, 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Few aspects of our shared human experience are more fundamental than food.  The act of preparing, serving and eating food in both historic and contemporary contexts spans low and high culture, encompassing social and cultural practices. Food functions as utility and pleasure, exposing social dynamics between producers and consumers and the wealth of material and cultural references that can be drawn from these interactions.  In its breadth and diversity, the topic presents a provocative opportunity to examine this most basic feature of history from a multi-disciplinary perspective, remembering that there is no single narrative to explain the story of food over time.

This symposium seeks to encourage a diverse range of perspectives and disciplines concerned with a span of topics, areas and periods as they relate to food and food production in Anatolia and its surrounding regions, including agriculture, feasting, cooking methods and technologies, and food culture manifested in migration and exchange.  Fellow graduate students are encouraged to consider alternative perspectives and how they contribute to a richer understanding of food-related practices and implications in Anatolia from the earliest prehistory until the end of the Ottoman Empire.

All graduate students are encouraged to apply.

Applicants should submit a 250-word abstract by March 6, 2014 to

For other questions contact or visit

Encompassing Anatolia and its surrounding regions, suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Food production and agriculture
  • Domestication of crops and animals
  • Wine and viticulture
  • Tools and technologies
  • Hunting and/or cooking tools
  • Cooking methods
  • Preservation
  • Ingredients, recipes and diets
  • Spices and their distribution
  • Feasting and rituals
  • Visual or textual representation of food
  • Migration and trade
  • Food and preparation methods as cultural heritage and intangible heritage
  • Architecture as related to food production, distribution and consumption
  • Tea and Coffee traditions and culture

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