LINGCLIM: Language, climate and lifestyle
The 2014 open SAMKUL conference is being held in Trondheim November 3.

The SAMKUL Conference 2014 – The technology, politics and culture of food

The 2014 open SAMKUL conference is being held in Trondheim November 3. Among the main speakers are Ken Albala fra Pacific University, Karin Zachmann fra Technisches Universität München and Philip McMichael from Cornell.


Food is more than just one of life’s essentials. It also forms part of the foundation for a wide range of topics and methods of analysis in cultural studies, and the technology, politics and culture of food is chosen for as the general topic for this year's open SAMKUL conference. We think that in addition to the frameworks for understanding and solutions provided from technology and the natural sciences, the time is ripe for cultural and history subjects to weigh in on these issues and help to arrive at more nuanced, sorely needed insights into the food systems of yesterday, today and tomorrow This will enable cultural studies to contribute to and play a role in solving major challenges such as climate change, population growth, resistance to antibiotics and the loss of cultivable land which are facing global food production today. This is altering the premises on which food is produced, distributed and consumed.

The speakers will deal with matters associated with this. The cultural historian Ken Albala will talk about "A Brief History of Natural Food: The Social Construction of Dietary Paradigms through Mistrust of Technology", while Karin Zachmann (technology historian) lectures about "Food – Technology – Trust: Concerns about food risk in late modern societies". The sociologist and historian Philip McMichael speaks about "Land grab and the global food economy", and Ingvild Gilhus, professor in religious studies from Bergen, will present a talk on "Ritual meals and edible identities: Food, globalisation and religious pluralism in the Roman Empire and today".

Three researchers from NTNU in Trondheim, engaged in SAMKUL research projects in Trondheim, will give short lectures from various aspects of this research.