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Food Research

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, Håkan Jönsson, ()

Chair - Håkan Jönsson (), Lund University, Sweden
Co-chair - Tanja Kocković Zaborski () Ethnographic Museum Zagreb
Secretary - Daša Ličen () Institute of Slovenian Ethnology


SIEF 24th International Ethnological Food Research Conference, Museum of Ethnography, Budapest, Hungary, 18-20/09/2024

Conference Theme: Living Eating Habits, Revitalized Foodways and the Concepts of Tradition and Food Heritage. Read more here >>


Professor J.M. van Winter Stipend.

The Stichting Gastronomische Bibliotheek, Amsterdam, is offering the Professor J.M. van Winter Stipend to support research in the History of Food collection of the University of Amsterdam by scholars working in the area of Food Studies.

Please have a look here. Deadline 15 August 2019.


Places Of Food Production: Origin, Identity, Imagination

The peer-reviewed proceedings of the 21st international ethnological food research conference, organised by Prof. Dr. Silke Bartsch, University of Education Karlsruhe (now TU Berlin), Germany, at the Dr. Rainer Wild-Stiftung, Heidelberg (31.8. – 2.9.2016), have been published. Edited by Silke Bartsch and Patricia Lysaght, the volume explores the relation between food production and place, since, in the age of globilisation, global food production inevitably affects regional food production and eating habits, and regional self-identity. The impact of industrialised food production on food availability is also dealt with, as are the perceived health-risks risks arising therefrom. A sense of alienation, springing from the invisibility of food production, food management processes, and from the concept of “hidden ingredients” is also uncovered and discussed.

Editor of book: Bartsch, Silke, Lysaght, Patricia (eds.), Places of Food Production. Origin, Identity, Imagination. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2017. ISBN 978-3-631-72782-9 (Print); E-ISBN 978-3-631-73022-5 (E-PDF); E-ISBN 978-3-631-73023-2 (EPUB); E-ISBN 978-3-631-73024-9 (MOBI); DOI 10.3726//b11707.