Food and life-span in Europe, 1800-2000

Food and life-span in Europe, 1800-2000

ICREFH (International Commission for Research into European Food History); Organized by Humanistic Health Research Group (the Saxo Institute) at the University of Copenhagen and The Danish Royal Library
Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen
Vom - Bis
28.09.2015 - 30.09.2015
Tenna Jensen

The aim of this symposium is to attract contributions from a range of academic disciplines, including history, sociology, anthropology, biology and nutrition, in order to shed light on the changing relationship between food and the life-span in Europe from an historical perspective.

Examining changes in the relationship between food and different age segments of the population, both in and across time, will enhance our overall understanding of the fundamental changes in European standards of living during and after industrialization.

From 1800 to 2000 Europe underwent a series of significant changes: the population increased more than five-fold; European countries were transformed from rural to predominantly urban societies; real wages rose and, as the food supply increased, food expenditure eventually took up a smaller share of household budgets.

These developments have had profound influence on the way Europeans understand, and relate to food throughout their lives. Even if all European countries experienced economic growth between 1800 and 2000, changes in food culture, perceptions, and practices differed across the continent.

National differences in diet just as much as differences in ethnicity and gender, illustrate the importance of cultural, social, and political choices in the formation of our societies. It is our hope that the symposium will attract contributions from all parts of Europe and thus provide us with a richer image of the similarities and differences between national developments.

We invite papers dealing with food consumption and the life-span from 1800 to 2000. The approach can be longitudinal in order to highlight changes or similarities over time or focus on the cross-sectional relationship between food expenditure, life cycle, and environmental structure, whether for whole populations or specific groups.

We encourage papers on topics such as daily dietary routines, the psychology of eating, and age-specific patterns of food consumption, as well as the promotion of food for different cohorts, e.g. age-specific nutritional science as well as marketing and public health campaigns.

The introduction of food regulations and policies might be considered in connection with diets in hospitals, nurseries and other public institutions like prisons or the armed forces.

Prospective contributors to the symposium should send a provisional title of their paper accompanied by an abstract of c. 200 words. Papers should aim to be around 5,000 words in length and will be circulated to all participants in advance of the symposium. Participants at the symposium will have 20 minutes to present the key points of their papers followed by a period of discussion.

Proposals for papers should be submitted to Dr Tenna Jensen, by 25 January 2015.