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Culinary Mind - Centre for the Philosophy of Food  

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The Centre

We are a research centre and network of academics, chefs, food writers and other individuals whose work relates to philosophy of food. The centre was founded in 2017 and is based at University of Milan, with members in various countries all over the world. Our aim is to promote philosophical thinking on food-related topics in the form of research, publications, conferences, and other events.

For further information or collaboration proposals, please get in touch: 
info@culinarymind.org

https://culinarymind.org

Or contact the director Andrea Borghini:
andrea.borghini@unimi.it

Philosophy of Food

Public discourses on food, eating and cooking are everywhere, but what is missing is a philosophical perspective. On the other hand, academic philosophy has mostly ignored questions related to food and eating except as regards the ethical and political issues. Culinary Mind aims to fulfil these gaps by contributing to public discourses on food from the philosophical point of view, and by focusing on philosophical issues related to food from the point of view of metaphysics, philosophy of mind, language, perception, aesthetics, and epistemology.

So what is philosophy of food?

Here are some examples of questions that interest us: 

  • What fixes the identity of a given food? What fixes the identity of special items, such as genetically modified foods, or foods protected by a geographical indication?
  • How to define and measure the biodiversity of edible organisms? What are the chief taxonomic junctures when it comes to edible organisms and how to adequately reflect them in a label?
  • What is a recipe? What is a culinary tradition? Who should have authority to shape these entities?
  • What are the main epistemological aspects of food consumption, and in particular, what is the role played by trust in the epistemology of food consumption and what role does the existence of food labels play in this respect?
  • What is the nature of the feelings and emotions traditionally associated with food, such as hunger, gustatory pleasure or nostalgia?
  • Can food be an art form? If so, what sort of art is the culinary art? In what ways does it reflect public and private interests? For instance, are restaurants a form of public art? Or, to what extent can a citizen’s diet be infringed upon by legal and political pressure? How to explain the political and social underpinnings of culinary art, as reflected for instance in gastro-diplomacy?

Culinary Mind Colloquia Online Series 2022-2023  

Quarter-Baked Forums

The goal of this series is to try new projects, ideas, or open problems that promise to advance research in philosophy and food. The forums will not be recorded and this informal setting aims at facilitating conversation, brainstorming, and networking. Each talk features one speaker and is divided as follows: 5/10 minutes presentation of the problem and 30/40 minutes discussion.

September 27, 2022 (3pm Rome time)
Emily Yates-Doerr (University of Amsterdam) “Non-performativity and social change in food systems” 

November 22, 2022 (3pm Rome time)
Jayeeta Sharma (University of Toronto) “Dialogic interactions between food scholars and food practitioners”

TBA (Spring ’23)
Andrea Pieroni (University of Gastronomic Science, Pollenzo) TBD

TBA (Spring ‘23)
Ucheoma Osuji (Adekunle Ajasin University) TBD

TBA (Spring ‘23)
Charlotte Biltekoff (University of California, Davis) TBD

TBA (Spring ‘23)
Daniela Perrotti (Université catholique de Louvain) TBD

Half-Baked Colloquia

The “Half Baked (Online) Colloquia Series” is a series of colloquia held on Zoom by diverse scholars who work on food from different philosophical perspectives, broadly understood to include theoretical approaches to culture, society, gender, race, history as they relate to food, consumption, and dieting. Talks are usually recorded and are divided as follows: 30/40 minutes presentation and 30/40 minutes discussion (please find here the past events).

November 4, 2022 (3pm Rome time)
Josh Milburn (Loughborough University) “Having our cow and eating her too: Animal rights without veganism”

November 18, 2022 (3pm Rome time)
Per Sandin (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) “High-maintenance nature: Crickets, cows and boundary work”

December 2, 2022 (3pm Rome time)
Saana Jukola (University of Bonn) “What is ‘personalized’ in personalized nutrition? And why does it matter?”

February 24, 2023 (3pm Rome time)
Jonathan Sholl (CNSR, Université de Bordeaux) “Who’s afraid of nutritionism?”

March 10, 2023 (3pm Rome time)
Camilla Gjerde (wine writer) “We don’t want any crap in our wine. The women behind the bottle”

March 31, 2023 (4pm Rome time)
Nick Riggle (University of San Diego) “Food and the practice of eating”

April 14, 2023 (3pm Rome time)
Azita Chellappoo (Open University) “Food justice and fat politics”

Organizers:

  • Andrea Borghini (University of Milan)
  • Megan Dean (Michigan State University)
  • Patrik Engisch (University of Geneva)
  • Nicola Piras (University of Milan)
  • Beatrice Serini (University of Milan)

For more information contact: andrea.borghini@unimi.it
http://www.culinarymind.org or http://www.facebook.com/culinarymind/

Everyone interested is welcome to attend.

Participation is strongly recommended to students of the Doctoral School in Philosophy and Human Sciences and to students of the Doctoral School “The Human Mind and its Explanations: Language, Brain, and Reasoning”.

In order to partecipate, please register at: https://forms.gle/qf5cYPchoC63zEV8A

Meetings of the Centre for the Philosophy of Food  

September 27, 2022: Emily Yates-Doerr: Non-performativity and social change in food systems

Culinary Mind and Andrea Borghini present the Quarter-Baked Forum. Online Colloquia Series. Zoom Meeting with Emily Yates-Doerr (Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam). H. 3 PM CEST. The goal of this series is to try new projects, ideas, or open problems that promise to advance research in philosophy and food. The forums will not be recorded and this informal setting aims at facilitating conversation, brainstorming, and networking. Each talk features one speaker and is divided as follows: 5/10 minutes presentation of the problem and 30/40 minutes discussion.

Uku Tooming: "Flavor in the Moment"

The video recorded on February 18, 2022, of the Half-Baked Online Colloquia Series has been published. The Half-Baked Online Colloquia Series are organizzed by Andrea Borghini and Culinary Mind.

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