Explore what you eat at the ‘Food for Thought’ conference

Food for Thought Conference
In spring 2015, the University of Iowa will officially launch a themed semester titled Food for Thought, but events centered on food-related topics are already underway this fall. — photo by future15

Community members are invited to reap the harvest of graduate students’ food-related research and take part in conversations surrounding food this Saturday, Nov. 1 at the Food for Thought Graduate Student Conference.

The conference is free to attend and begins at 9 a.m. at the University Capitol Center 2520D (200 S. Capitol St.). Through presentations and discussions, attendees can expect to gain insight into local and international food movements and cultures.

“The event offers an opportunity for graduate students from diverse departments at UI to present their scholarly research related to the study of food for an audience of both specialists and non-specialists and to receive feedback and advice,” said Doris Witt, Director of Undergraduate Studies of the Department of English at the University of Iowa and an organizer for Saturday’s event.

The program is broken into three panels of graduated students, with presentations moderated by UI professors. The first panel will be moderated by assistant visiting professor of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies, Susan Stanfield, and explore the role of food in various cultures throughout history.

Afterwards, presentations will focus on the theme of “Women and Recipes, from Tradition to Transgression,” including a localized look at gender and food at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women.

The final panel will also touch on food-related issues close to home. There will be a presentation on a nutrition-education pilot program in some of Iowa’s food pantries, as well as a discussion on the perceived risks of consuming genetically modified foods. After each of the presentations, audience-members will be invited to ask questions about the topics presented.

At 12:45 p.m. there will be a working lunch, when attendees and presenters will have the opportunity to meet one another and brainstorm the growth of academic studies around food at the University of Iowa. Lunch will be provided by the Obermann Center for people who sign up by early Friday.

A complete conference schedule with details on the presentations can be found online.

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