Call For Proposals

Fourteenth Annual Assembly of the Canadian Association for Food Studies


"Circles of Food"


June 2-5, 2019

University of British Columbia

Vancouver, British Columbia



The Canadian Association for Food Studies (CAFS) will host its fourteenth annual assembly at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver from June 2-5, 2019 in conjunction with the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Founded in 2005, CAFS promotes critical, multidisciplinary scholarship in the broad area of food systems, including but not limited to: food policy, production, distribution, and consumption. CAFS members are drawn from an array of disciplines including adult education, agriculture, anthropology, cultural studies, design, economics, environmental studies, health studies, home economics, human nutrition, geography, literature, philosophy, policy studies, psychology, public health, rural studies, social work, sociology, theatre and performance studies, and urban planning. CAFS membership is open to academics, activists, students, policy makers, community workers, professionals, practitioners, and others interested in food studies research and practice. CAFS recognizes the need for transdisciplinary research on food issues both within and outside of academia in response to societal needs. The conference is an opportunity to share knowledge in a number of domain areas such as informing and critiquing policy, assessing and mobilizing the outcomes of community-based work, and demonstrating the health, social, economic, political, cultural, spiritual, and environmental impacts of food systems.



Congress: "Circles of Conversation"

With the theme “Circles of Conversation,” Congress 2019 in Vancouver will emphasize the deep, two-way relationships between the university and the communities it serves: local, provincial, national, and global. Particular attention will be focused on productive scholarly relations with Indigenous communities. The University of British Columbia sits on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) territory and houses the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre.

“Circles of Conversation” will open up space for dialogue, debate, and dissent, and will showcase creative critical engagements — in literature, visual arts, and music — with topics as diverse as sustainability, accessibility, global mobility, health, culture, and, of course, education. Congress 2019 will foster and encourage circles of conversation among scholars, educators, students, political leaders, and activists, so that people can speak with one another, listen, and learn together.

CAFS: "Circles of Food"

Through the lens of Circles of Food, this year’s CAFS conference aspires to create space for furthering the interdisciplinary nature of food studies, including our ongoing efforts to build stronger, more sustainable and just food systems, and other attempts to increase the breadth and depth of the meaning of food to the human experience. As food work and food studies are influenced by diverse relationships, conversations, and learning experiences, this year’s conference theme highlights those processes, narratives, and systems that connect us to food. At the same time, we aim to recognize and celebrate the diverse ontological and epistemological perspectives that different people and groups bring to food studies. With this approach we seek to bring together “circles of conversation” to include voices from a variety of communities of practice and learning, including academic, civil society, activist and other spheres. The theme, “Circles of Food” is particularly relevant given that we will be gathering in Vancouver on the territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples, and in light of the importance of learning circles to many Indigenous communities. More generally, circles can represent a challenge to linear and hierarchical ways of thinking about the world and our place within it. The challenges related to our food systems are great, and will require innovative and collaborative approaches to overcome them.

Presentation types


CAFS encourages you to organize sessions with colleagues with whom you would be interested in presenting. You are welcome to make use of the CAFS listserv to invite participation in a session you are organizing. Please provide the session abstract, along with the abstracts and contact information of each of the session participants, to be submitted as one document.


Paper Sessions

We welcome submissions for standard conference-style presentations on topics consistent with the conference theme. Presentations must be delivered in 15 minutes. Creativity in presentations is welcome. Presentations will be grouped by theme.


Themed Panels

Proposals for themed panels or roundtables may include a variety of formats. Panels may comprise 3 to 4 presentations with different perspectives on a topic. The panel should identify its own moderator. Facilitated discussions, workshops, roundtables and other formats involving collaborative activities of societies and associations at Congress are also welcomed. A creative possibility might include the preparation of a meal/dish consisting of selected ingredients; presenters might share the history and stories of the meal/dish.


PechaKucha-like (short-form) presentations

Akin to a cocktail party, in a “chit-chat” style, PechaKucha comprise five-minute presentations with 15 slides each exhibited for 20 seconds. Presenters are advised to use the auto-advance mode in PowerPoint, Keynote, or Prezi. In this type of session, many can share their discoveries through visual representations. The 5- minute time limit is tightly managed, and presenters will be stopped when they reach this point. At the end of the session, a short time will be available for discussion with presenters and participants. Questions and answers are left for session participants to pose directly to presenters.


Cookbook & Poster Displays

Presenters may submit a poster or cookbook proposal. Cookbooks are binders or loose-leaf style books that can be flipped through, designed so that the reader can get the idea quickly. Posters are presented using standard sizes of 24” x 36” or up to 48” by 36”. These should be in alignment with trifold displays. Posters and cookbooks may be displayed throughout the conference or perhaps before/after CAFS session, lunches and events, depending on the arrangements of Congress.


Video Presentations

In collaboration with the Exploration Gallery, this year’s conference will be offering an experimental presentation type ‘video presentation’. Presenters must submit original content (i.e. the recording cannot have been used for other presentations elsewhere), of themselves and their collaborators presenting on their paper, or a narrated short video of their topic. This is an opportunity for more creative modes of expression, and presenters are encouraged to be creative with their videos (provided that there is sufficient narration to stand-in for a conference presentation). The tone and style of the presentation should be academic and professional. Videos must be between 10-15 minutes in length, and presenters will be expected to be available for a Q&A in the Exploration Gallery following the scheduled screening. All themes are welcome. Videos can later be re-submitted for consideration with the CAFS journal, Canadian Food Studies, or a forthcoming CAFS YouTube channel. Please contact: Andrea Noriega for instructions about how to submit videos.


Topic Areas

The 2019 conference invites a variety of submissions that will enable us to have holistic conversations. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Food Advocacy and Food Movements

    • Food Sovereignty

    • Food Democracy

    • Food Justice

    • Food Security / Insecurity

  • Food Production & Procurement

    • Agroecology

    • Agriculture

    • Urban Agriculture

    • Fisheries and Aquaculture

    • Wild Foods/Foraging and other Harvesting

    • Food Processing

    • Animal/Insect Husbandry

  • Food Systems

    • Food Systems of various scales and geographies

    • Governance / Food Policy

    • Food Trade

    • Food Economies / Political Economies

    • Indigenous Food Systems/Foodways

    • Alternative Food Systems

  • Food and Health

    • Food and Public Health

    • Health and Policy

    • Critical Dietetics

    • Food and Nutrition

    • Healthy Eating

    • Food as Medicine / Food and Healing

    • Food and the Body

    • Diets and Disease

  • Food and Cooking

    • Food Preparation

    • Cookbooks and Recipes

    • Performance and Cooking

    • Commercial Cooking Practices

    • Traditional Cooking Practices

  • Food and Knowledge

    • Food and Philosophy

    • Food, Subjectivity, and Ontology

    • Food and Pedagogy

    • Food Literacy

    • Food and Learning

    • Food and Research

    • Food Education Policy

  • Food and Culture

    • Food and Place

    • Food Narratives

    • Food and Commensality

    • Food and Diaspora/Migration

    • International Food

    • Food and Fusion

    • Food, Tradition, and Preservation

    • Food Ethics and Values

  • Food and Gender

    • Food, Motherhood, and Infancy

    • Food and Social Reproduction

    • Feminist Food Studies

    • Queering Food Studies

  • Food and Nature

    • Food Sustainability

    • Environmentalism and Food Production

    • Animal Welfare in Food

    • Meat Alternatives

    • Natural Disasters/Climate Change

  • Food and History

    • Historical Development of Food Systems

    • Cultural Histories and Food

    • Food Politics Over Time

  • Food and the Arts

    • Food as Performance

    • Food as Visual Aesthetic

    • Food Photography

    • Food Writing

    • Food, Music and Song

    • Food Symbolism

  • Food Marketing and Advertising

    • Food and Social Media

    • Food Imagery Online

    • Online Access to Food Information

    • Food Blogging

    • Food and Mass Media

  • Food and Technology

    • Technologies of Food Production

    • Technologies of Food Distribution

    • Agricultural Technologies

    • Food and Big Data


Deadlines and Details for Submissions

For all presentation types, please submit an abstract (of 250 words or less) between November 1 and January 15, 2019 first by logging in or registering at the CAFS website at register/ and then going to the 2019 conference submissions tab. Complete all the required fields, including keywords and presentation style you intend to use. If proposing a panel or roundtable, remember to provide the names of other presenters.


Send nominations for both the Award for Excellence in Public Service and Student Paper Award to Nomination emails will be forwarded to the Awards Committee Chair. Submission deadline: February 15, 2019

Notification of awards: March 15, 2019.

2019 CAFS Exploration Gallery

Students, food scholars, NGOs, researchers outside the academy, artists/designers, and other members of the community are welcome to propose works for the 2019 CAFS Exploration Gallery. All media are welcome, including installations, audio, video, and other works of art and design. (See above for details about Video Presentations.) Send submissions and questions for the Exploration Gallery 2019 to: Gallery Submission Deadline: February 17, 2019 at 10:00pm (EST) Submission areas may include but are not limited to the same topics as CAFS abstract submissions.



On Sunday, June 2, 2019, CAFS will again host a preconference open to all students, postdocs, and emerging researchers. Participants in the 2019 preconference may engage in a series of peer networking activities, interactive workshops, and participatory discussions. A field trip will be offered the later part of the preconference day. An evening social at a local venue will follow. More information on the preconference program, submissions, registrations and activities will soon be available through the CAFS website and sent via e-mail. For more information, contact


Registration & Fees

Registered conference participants automatically become CAFS members. Registration for both Congress and the CAFS conference can be done at

Register early! Early bird discount will be in effect.      


Award for Excellence in Public Service

The purpose of this award is to honour CAFS members who have made academic or non-academic contributions that have had a significant public service impact in programmes and policies affecting the food system, through their work in universities, colleges, government agencies, NGOs, consultancies, etc. To nominate someone, please submit the following:

  • A cover letter from the principal nominator detailing the member’s significant contributions in policy, program development, and/or other areas as they pertain to this award.

  • A current CV or résumé for the nominee.

  • Two or three letters of support (at least one letter from a CAFS member).


Student Paper Award in Food Studies

Launched in 2011, this award was created to recognize scholarly excellence and encourage participation by undergraduate and graduate students. The award includes a $200 prize, a one-year CAFS membership, complimentary conference registration, and a banquet ticket for the CAFS conference.


The following are the guidelines for submission:

  • The paper must be student-authored and on any of a wide variety of disciplinary or transdisciplinary food issues;

  • Co-authored papers by two students are also permitted, if both students agree that they made comparable contributions to the paper;

  • Applicants must also submit an abstract for the CAFS conference by the abstract deadline;

  • The paper may have been written for a course, a major research project, or a thesis or comprehensive exam; and

  • Written papers should be 4,500 to 6,000 words (excluding bibliography);

  • Videos and other non-text formats also will be considered.


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