Skip to content

Food Studies Conference 2020

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


November 9 – 10, 2020


Welcome to our Food Studies Conference 2020. Registrations our now open. Hosted by UTAS’s Sustainable Food Systems Community of Practice, due to current COVID-19 restrictions, the Conference will be held online in November 2020.

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

When: November 9 – 10, 2020

Where: Online MS Teams (live panels 9-10 2020)

Note: Prerecorded presentations and keynotes available on the Teams Site from 2 November)


  • International Keynote speakers
  • Interdisciplinary academic panels (Monday 9 November to Tuesday 10 November)
  • Industry presentations (Sustain, Cities of Gastronomy)

Conference details

Our Food Studies Conference and associated events will be held from 9-10 November online.

The Conference will feature two days of thought-provoking keynotes and presentations by Australian and International Food Studies Scholars.

About the Conference

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 will be posted here soon. Abstract and panel submissions are now closed.

Call for panels, papers and workshops

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

9-10 November 2020

Submission of Paper Abstracts and Panel and Workshop Proposals is now closed.

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.

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

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).


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 (9-10 November).

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

Registration to the conference is NOW OPEN!

Register now  

Please not that conference fees have been significantly reduced in light of fully online delivery.

Registration fees are as follows:

  • Attendees (access to all presentations) (01 Sept to 08 Nov) = $75;
  • Attendance at a Keynote presentation (01 Sept to 08 Nov) = $20;
  • Attendance at an Industry Panel (01 Sept to 08 Nov) = $20;

We hope to see you all in November 2020!

All enquiries:


For academic enquiries please contact:

For all other enquiries, please contact:

Laura Ripoll González