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Food Studies Conference 2020

Food Futures in the Anthropocene: Place-Based, Just, Convivial

Launceston, Tasmania

November 7 – 10, 2020


Welcome to our Food Studies Conference 2020. Registrations our now open. Hosted by UTAS’s Sustainable Food Systems Community of Practice, the Conference will take place in the City of Launceston, Tasmania, in November 2020.

Theme: Food Futures in the Anthropocene: Place-Based, Just, Convivial

When: November 8 – 10, 2020 (the conference will be officially opened on Sunday 8 November with a keynote address and welcome drinks in the late afternoon after 5 pm; delegates are also encouraged to consider attending the following two events scheduled during the weekend before the conference starts: Launceston Food Experience field study trips on 7 November (all delegates) and HDR workshops on 8 November(HDRs only).

Where: Inveresk Campus, University of Tasmania, Launceston


  • International Keynote speakers (to be announced in early 2020)
  • Interdisciplinary academic panels (Monday 9 November to Tuesday 10 November)
  • Dedicated Postgraduate Workshop (Sunday 8 November)
  • Launceston food experience--Field trips to internationally acclaimed local sites including Harvest Launceston Farmers' Market, organic farms, gourmet restaurants and craft breweries

Conference details

Our Food Studies Conference and associated events will be held from 7-10 November in the heart of the gastronomically renowned City of Launceston, Tasmania.

The Conference will feature two days of thought-provoking keynotes and presentations by Australian and International Food Studies Scholars preceded by optional foodie field trips (Saturday 7 November) and a Postgraduate Workshop (Sunday 8 November).

About the Conference

Entitled Food Futures in the Anthropocene: Place-Based, Just, Convivial, the Conference will take place in Northern Tasmania’s iconic kanamaluka/Tamar Valley and the historic City of Launceston.

Food Futures in the Anthropocene invites contributions that critically reflect on the nature of food systems that are socially, economically, politically, culturally and technically attuned to place, foster food security and justice, and serve to unite rather than divide communities through convivial food experiences.

About the Academic Committee

The Academic Committee consists of scholars and practitioners from Australian universities and institutes interested in the interdisciplinary study of food and food systems. Members of the Academic Committee are Fred Gale (UTAS), Sandra Murray (UTAS), Kelly Donati (William Angliss Institute), Nick Rose (Sustain: The Australian Food Network), Rachel Ankeny (Adelaide), Michelle Phillipov (Adelaide), Nicki Tarulevicz (UTAS), Frieda Moran (UTAS), Jenny Kaldor (UTAS), Anna Flittner (UTAS), Alana Betzold (UTAS), Laura Ripoll-Gonzalez (UTAS).

Program & schedule

The program and schedule are under development and will be finalised in mid-2020, following review and acceptance of submissions for papers, panels and workshops.

Call for panels, papers and workshops

Food Futures in the Anthropocene: Place-Based, Just, Convivial

University of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia

8-10 November 2020

Deadline for Submission of Paper Abstracts and Panel and Workshop Proposals: 15 July 2020

Emerging discourses of the Anthropocene and its critics constitute attempts to grasp a new understanding of reality: the deep and reciprocal enmeshment of daily human practices with Earth’s vital life-support systems. For scholars of food studies and systems, the planetary impacts of high-input monocultures, land clearing, food miles, labour exploitation, retail monopolies, unethical advertising, obesogenic environments and food waste are only some of the issues to be overcome to resolve the profound economic, ecological, social and cultural crises in the twenty-first century and realise a flourishing co-existence for ourselves and the species with whom we live and eat. Employing inter- and transdisciplinary methodologies and building on ‘circular’, ‘just’, ‘slow’, ‘local’, ‘convivial’, ‘healthy’ and ‘sustainable’ food concepts, the emerging discipline of food system studies is uniquely positioned to answer questions about the nature and meanings of such enmeshments as well as offering imaginative yet feasible solutions. How do we make sense of the food futures to come? What new ways of eating well and convivially are there? How can lessons from the past help us navigate increasingly uncertain food futures? What food governance arrangements—politics, policies, regulations—will overcome unconscionable inequalities and deliver food justice? How is and should food be represented in the media? These are just a few of the questions this conference will grapple with.

Situated in Northern Tasmania’s iconic, kanamaluka/Tamar Valley and the historic City of Launceston, Food Futures in the Anthropocene invites contributions that critically reflect on the nature of food systems that are socially, economically, politically, culturally and technically attuned to place, foster food security and justice, and serve to unite rather than divide communities through convivial food experiences. We are especially interested in papers that address the following themes:

  • Histories of food and place
  • Food media/mediating food
  • Food regulation and governance
  • Conventional and alternative food cultures
  • Healthy and sustainable food systems
  • Policy, politics and political economy of food
  • Food security, justice and sovereignty
  • Food literacy and education
  • Indigenous food systems
  • Convivial food systems

Abstracts for papers, panels, workshops and other presentations should be submitted to the Conference website by 15 July 2020. Postgraduate students are strongly encouraged to participate.

Organising committee: Fred Gale (Social Sciences, University of Tasmania), Sandra Murray (Health Sciences, University of Tasmania), Kelly Donati (Food Studies, William Angliss Institute), Nick Rose (Sustain: The Australian Food Network), Rachel Ankeny (Humanities, Adelaide), Michelle Phillipov (Media Studies, Adelaide), Nicki Tarulevicz (History, University of Tasmania), Frieda Moran (History, University of Tasmania), Jenny Kaldor (Law, University of Tasmania), Anna Flittner (Biological Sciences, University of Tasmania), Alana Betzold (Sociology, University of Tasmania), Laura Ripoll González (Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Griffith University).

COVID-19 Update, 30 April 2020

We hope you are all keeping healthy and safe at this difficult time.

With COVID-19 sweeping around the world, undoubtedly you are wondering whether our Conference, Food Futures in the Anthropocene, will be proceeding at the University of Tasmania, Launceston, from 8-10 November 2020.

At present, we remain hopeful that our Conference will be able to proceed and continue to closely monitor developments in Australia and worldwide.

The Call for Papers remains open and the new deadline for Abstract submission is now extended from May 01 to July 15.

We encourage you submit an abstract and assure you we will fully understand if you subsequently need to cancel due to further lockdowns, lack of funding, ongoing uncertainty or any other reason.

We thank all those who have already submitted abstracts and assure you these will be reviewed in line with the revised schedule below and a decision on acceptance made by 15 August.


  • Submission of abstracts closes: Deadline extended to July 15
  • Feedback to authors on abstract acceptance: August 15
  • Early Bird Registration closes: September 01
  • Registration closes: October 01
  • Conference dates: November 8-10
  • Launceston food experience: November 07
  • Postgraduate workshop: November 08
  • Conference dinner: November 09


Confirmed keynote speakers include:

Joshna Maharaj, Chef, TEDx speaker and Food Activist

Author of Take Back the Tray: Revolutionising Food in Hospitals, Schools and Other Institutions (Toronto, ONT: ECW Press 2020)

A former Food Services Director at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada, Joshna Maharaj is a chef, two-time TEDx speaker, and food activist. Joshna believes strongly in the power of chefs and social gastronomy to bring hospitality, sustainability, and social justice to the table. A recipient of the 2018 Restaurants Canada Culinary Excellence Award, Joshna is interested in reforming our food system and aims to inspire people to make better friends with food to live richer, happier and more nourished lives. She works with communities, organizations and institutions to build value-based food services that prioritize good food, hospitality and sustainability. Joshna believes that chefs can help people and communities transform with stronger connections to their food. For her, food is about nourishment, joy and connection and she is blissfully happy cooking in the kitchen and feeding happy, hungry crowds of people. Joshna uses social gastronomy to rebuild the food system, increase people's access to good food and help everyone have more fun in the kitchen.

Dr. S. Margot Finn, Applied Liberal Arts, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Author of Discriminating Taste: How Class Anxiety Created the American Food Revolution (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press 2017).

Margot holds an MA and Ph.D in American Culture focusing on Food Studies, Media Studies, 20th Century US History and Cultural Studies. A lecturer in Applied liberal arts and affiliate of the Sustainable Food Systems Initiative, Margot employs interdisciplinary topics like food to help students integrate the many different academic disciplines they encounter in their liberal arts degrees while connecting academic work to their personal lives. She encourages critical thinking skills and more informed perspectives on contemporary food debates by examining multiple perspectives on topics such as the ecological impact of Organic vs. conventional agriculture, local vs. imported foods, the biology and culture of fatness, and the history of attempts to reform the U.S. food system. Margot’s research examines popular beliefs about food and eating in the U.S., her recent book investigating how the contemporary food movement was shaped by class anxieties created by middle-class income stagnation and declining class mobility since 1980.

Prof Sharon Friel, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Editor of Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems (London: Routledge 2020)

Sharon is Professor of Health Equity and Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Governance at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), Australian National University. The former Director of RegNet (2014-2019), she also headed the Scientific Secretariat of the World Health Organisation Commission on the Social Determinants of Health from 2005 to 2008. Sharon is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia and co-Director of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health Equity. In 2014, her international peers voted her one of the world’s most influential female leaders in global health. Sharon’s interests are in the political economy of health; governance, policy and regulatory processes related to the social determinants of health inequities, including trade and investment, food systems, urbanisation, climate change.

Marvin Montefrio, Yale-NUS College, Singapore

Author of ‘The politics of participatory guarantee systems for organic food production’, Journal of Rural Studies (2019) and ‘Cosmopolitan translations of food and the case of alternative eating in the Philippines’, Agriculture & Human Values (forthcoming).

Based at the Yale-NUS College in Singapore, Marvin holds a PhD in Environmental and Natural Resources Policy (2014) from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. An interdisciplinary scholar who builds on a past professional background in applied environmental studies, Marvin’s research explores the political economy and cultural politics of contemporary agrarian and food issues, particularly at the intersections of globalization and sustainable development. His approach examines multiple levels and units of analysis, with particular attention to spaces and time where the ‘global’ meets the ‘local’. The topical areas Marvin has examined include the green economy and its discontents, food security in development frontiers, contradictions of alternative food systems, the politics of urban farming, and agrarian implications of agritourism, all in the context of Southeast Asia.


The conference features two days of keynote presentations, academic panels and workshops (9-10 November) preceded by tours of the Tamar Valley (Saturday 7 November) and a dedicated postgraduate workshop (8 November). The Conference will officially open on Sunday evening, 8 November 2020, with a keynote address followed by a reception.

The full conference program will be released in mid-2020.


The University of Tasmania, Inveresk campus, is located next to Launceston’s Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery at the 17-hectare cultural precinct adjacent to Launceston's CBD. The Inveresk campus features award winning world-class facilities which are home to the School of Creative Arts | Art & Theatre and the School of Architecture and Design.

Tasmania/lutruwita (Text adapted from

lutruwita/Tasmania is a place of wild and beautiful landscapes, friendly people with a relaxed lifestyle. The north of the State is a feast of historic streetscapes and heritage estates, rich farmland, premier cool-climate wines, fresh produce and a haven for designers and craft makers eager to talk about their work. The City of Launceston is located on the banks of the Tamar River, known as kanamaluka in the Tasmanian Indigenous language of palawa kani, and is the gateway to the Tamar Valley.

Launceston is the largest city in the region - and second largest in the state - a vibrant hub for food and wine and culture. Easily accessible scenic and wilderness areas include the Cataract Gorge and Tamar River, just a few minutes’ walk from the city centre. Launceston’s airport is also conveniently located 15-20 minutes’ drive from the city centre, and you can fly to Launceston directly from Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane. Connecting flights are also available from Launceston to mainland Australia and the world.

Out of Launceston, the surrounding green fields and country lanes are lined with 150 year old hawthorn, poplar and elm trees, while in the Tamar Valley you'll find vineyards, strawberry farms and orchards and in the north east, lavender plantations. This idyllic setting will satisfy other interests too, from those of history enthusiasts to nature lovers.

The nearby town of Longford with its grand old World Heritage listed estates of Woolmers and Brickendon, offer visitors the chance to enjoy the architecture and community spirit of 19th century English villages made relevant for today. Many are now luxury retreats that offer a uniquely Tasmanian experience, combining old world elegance with a relaxed, new world style.

Accommodation Options

Launceston offers a range of boutique and affordable accommodation options. We have secured the following hotel deals with a range of different options to suit all budgets. These arrangements are subject to availability and you should contact the hotel directly to make a booking.

Superior room - $118 night, room only

Executive room - $133 night, room only

Booking code: UTAS

Book accommodation

Tamar River Rooms @ $159 per room

Gorge River Rooms @ $169 per room

$22 buffet breakfast available at Silos

Car parking $10 per day

Booking code: UTAS FSC 2020

Book accommodation

City View studios @ $154 per room, per night, nett rate

River view studios @ $166 per room, per night, nett rate

Car parking $10 per day

Booking code: UTAS FSC 2020

Book accommodation

Hotel room Queen or Twin $127.00 per night

Two Bedroom apartment for $189.00 per night

Booking code: UTAS20 (name UTAS Food Studies Conference Nov 20)

Book accommodation

Deluxe Rooms - $152.00 night, room only ($172.00 with a cooked buffet breakfast included)

Spa Rooms - $172.00 night, room only ($192.00 with a cooked buffet breakfast included)

Booking code: UTAS5490.

Book accommodation

$129 room only

Booking code: mention the University of Tasmania at the time of booking and the discount will be applied.

Book Accommodation

Free upgrades to conference delegates

Booking code: Mention Food Studies Conference

Book accommodation

Private room only $69

Booking code: Mention Food Studies Conference

Book accommodation

15% off website room rate

Booking code: FOOD FUTURES

Book accommodation

Registration to the conference is NOW OPEN!

Register now  

Registration fees are as follows:

  • Standard Rate (Tenured academic) = $500;
    Early Bird rate (Tenure academic, before July 15, 2020) = $350;
  • Special Rate (Non-Tenured academic) = $350;
    Early Bird rate (Non-Tenured academic, before July 15, 2020) = $200;
  • Postgraduate student rate = $200;
    Early Bird rate (Postgraduate student, before July 15, 2020) = $100;

We hope to see you all in Launceston in November 2020!

All enquiries:

Submit an abstract

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

For panel proposals only. Please describe how your proposal relates to the conference theme.

Abstract proposals word limit is 300. Panel proposals word limit is 500.

Documents must be in Word or PDF formats.


For academic enquiries please contact:

For all other enquiries, please contact:

Laura Ripoll González