The International Ethnological Food Research Group was founded in 1970, following its first Symposium, held at Lund, Sweden, in that year. In 1994, it agreed to work in collaboration with SIEF, as an associated Working Group. Its aims are in line with the ge neral aims of SIEF, and, using the relatively young discipline of ethnological food research, in all its aspects, it will maintain an active scholarly publishing programme, based on major ethnological themes discussed at its conferences. These themes should take into account the historical background as well as the present-day situation, using archival and printed as well as oral evidence, and should have an inter-regional comparative dimension. The approach should also be inter-disciplinary, in liaison with SIEF Working Groups and with neighbouring disciplines.
The Working Group will be aware of the changing definition of ethnology over time. In the 1930s the three key concepts of time, place and social milieu provided a basis for the study of cultural diffusion and periodisation, regional variation and culture zones, etc., when the rural population was seen as the main repository of traditional forms of material and oral culture. Later, the subject area was widened to include study of urban and industrial situations and ethnic movements, in which food and eating habits play a substantial role. The phenomenon of globalisation will be examined from an ethnological point of view, as well as other manifestations of modern times.
Anyone interested in the activities of the Working Group or in joining the Group may contact the Chair, Patricia Lysaght, at: patricia.lysaght(AT)ucd.ie
Prof.Dr. Patricia Lysaght
UCD Delargy Centre for Irish Folklore and the National Folklore Coillection,
University College Dublin