‘The Visual Anthropology of Food’

A symposium and specialised film screenings forming part of NAFA 2017

The symposium ‘The Visual Anthropology of Food’ and accompanying specialised film screenings was held in conjunction with the 37th NAFA International Ethnographic Film Festival, 22-26 August 2017. The symposium was co-convened by Susanne Højlund (Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, AU) and Peter I. Crawford (co-organiser of the overall event and Department of Anthropology, AU).

The symposium and specialised film screenings took place at Moesgaard Museum, with sessions in the mornings and early afternoons. Food culture plays an important role in new research initiatives at the Department of Anthropology as well as at the Faculty of Arts of Aarhus University, where a cross-disciplinary research centre, FOCUS (Food Culture Studies) has been established at the School of Culture and Communication.

This event will help start up and support these initiatives by inviting leading scholars and prominent filmmakers to present projects in which the film medium is used to explore the multifaceted aspects of food culture around the world, emphasising the sensuous dimensions of these.

Whilst the morning sessions included at least one keynote address, with a leading food studies scholar, and more or less conventional text-based presentations, the early afternoon sessions consisted of specialised film screenings presented and discussed by the filmmakers/ researchers. Most presentations were the results of practice-based research, using video or other audio-visual media.

The selected presentations at the symposium were invited to contribute to a book with the working title ‘The visual anthropology of food’, to be published in the peer-reviewed NAFA book series (www.intervention.dkand
edited by Susanne Højlund and Peter I. Crawford.