Just Food: because it is never just food

The OSU Food in Culture and Social Justice program invites the submission of abstracts to the 2021 "Just Food: because it is never just food" conference. The event was originally scheduled to be in-person at Oregon State University. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the event will be held virtually online and will be hosted by The Culinary Institute of America and New York University.

Members of the OSU community involved in the conference preparations include Joan Gross, Emily Yates-Doerr and Sarah Cunningham.


In this most unusual time, four academic organizations engaged in food studies are hosting a virtual conference centered on the theme of Food Justice. The title, Just Food: because it is never just food, highlights how food is ensconced in systems of exclusion, oppression, and power. We invite you to submit presentations* related to food studies, agriculture, and food systems, even if it is not directly related to this year’s theme. We especially encourage scholars to examine the production, distribution, and consumption of food while keeping in mind power differentials in local and global systems. We invite submissions that reveal and/or seek to challenge the systemic injustices of the industrial and alternative food systems that marginalize the food histories, practices, and experiences of diverse communities including Indigenous, Black, and People of Color. We also seek papers that highlight the ways people use food for pleasure and autonomy. The conference hopes to make connections between diverse perspectives, to center historically marginalized voices, and to work towards building a greater understanding of how to achieve food justice on Turtle Island (North America) and globally.

Broad areas of inquiry may include: 

  • Food socialization practices in public, private, and institutional settings 
  • Culinary appropriation 
  • The interconnectedness between the Global South and Global North 
  • Agroecology and food sovereignty 
  • Global and local food movements and the quest for justice and sustainability 
  • The role of racism, colonialism, and imperialism in cuisines of the world 
  • Indigenous food sovereignty and Black food sovereignty 
  • Repair, resistance, and reparations in food systems 
  • Health implications of unequal access to food 
  • Migration, exile, and food access/security 
  • The exploitation of food workers within Capitalism 
  • Eating and ethics 
  • Agriculture, economics, labor 
  • Lived experiences of climate catastrophe 
  • Food systems governance javascript:void('Unlink')
  • Pedagogy of food justice in and out of the classroom 
  • Policy and advocacy 
  • Intersectionality (race, class, gender, ableism, creed, etc.) 
  • Media representation of cuisines and food justice 

*Presentation may include 20-minute papers, complete session/panel, roundtables, seven minute lightning talk, workshop or other creative events. Please submit a maximum of two submissions per person.

Download the Call for Abstract PDF for complete submission information