Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Symposium: "Food for Thought: Culture and Cuisine in Russia and Eastern Europe (1800-present)"

Fri, January 31, 2014

"Food for Thought: Culture and Cuisine in Russia and Eastern Europe (1800-present)"

A Symposium on regional food topics at The University of Texas at Austin

The Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies, in cooperation with the Department of History and the Center for European Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, is hosting a two-day symposium on the culture of food in the Russian Empire (and Soviet Union) and its successor states, as well as “Eastern Europe” broadly defined.

Drawing on a wide range of sources and disciplines, speakers will explore how patterns of food cultivation, preparation, and consumption are embedded in local, national, and trans-national cultural configurations. Scholars from all disciplines are welcome to apply, but organizers especially welcome contributions from history, literary and cultural (including film and media) studies, and anthropology.

We hope to reexamine the history and culture of the region through the lens of its food—that is, cultural attitudes, marketing and packaging, memories and representations of particular foods, patterns of eating, cultural dietary restrictions, or local cultural difference that were expressed through divergent patterns of food preparation and consumption. How was food as “tradition” experienced, how was its cultivation and production gendered, how was it tied to religious or ethnic differentiation, in what ways was it processed, “packaged” or otherwise modernized—for example, tied to global patterns and flows.  How was it tied to private and public socialization—the kitchen versus the restaurant or cafeteria and what did this mean for local or national cultures? How was food depicted in film and literature, described in cookbooks, marketed at home and abroad? Did food take on new meanings—cultural, political, or otherwise—under communism? And finally, what about food culture or food nostalgia after communism? We hope for creative approaches to these and other questions related to the production, consumption, exchange, and service of food in Russia and Eastern Europe from 1800-present.

Click HERE for poster. For more information, check out the conference blog.

Friday, Feb 7th: 9:00am-5:30pm & Saturday, Feb 8th: 9:00am-6:30pm in the CLA building 1.302 - Julius Glickman Conference Center, UT Campus

Link to schedule of events.


Lunch and dinner events, however, are for participants and invited guests only. Please contact Mary Neuburger at <> for information on meal events.

Featuring Dr. Ronald Le Blanc as Keynote Speaker
“From Russian Vegetarians to Soviet Hamburgers: Tolstoy, Pilnyak, and the Ethics/Politics of Diet"
Friday, Feb 7th at 4:30pm in CLA 1.302E

Ronald D. Le Blanc is Professor of Russian and Humanities at the University of New Hampshire and Center Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. The author of "Slavic Sins of the Flesh: Food, Sex, and Carnal Appetite in Nineteenth-Century Russian Fiction" (2009), Professor LeBlanc has written numerous “gastrocritical” studies on food and eating in the works of such writers as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gogol, Goncharov, Bulgakov, and Olesha. Click HERE for keynote flyer.

The Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies    College of Liberal Arts • Department of History • Center for European Studies  • The Department of Germanic Studies • Kasman Family Lecture in Eastern European Jewish Studies • Institute for Historical Studies •Department of Anthropology • Department of Sociology • The Russian House NaZdorovye •Whole Foods Market • Le Cordon Bleu  • Bulgarian Master Vintners 


Mary Neuburger
University of Texas
Department of History

Keith Livers
University of Texas
Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Tatiana Kuzmic
University of Texas
Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies

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