On February 11-12, 2022, the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies will host its biennial celebration of Popular Culture and the Deep Past (PCDP) at the Ohio State University, with ‘The Experimental Archaeology of Medieval and Renaissance Food.’ As in past years, this event will feature a scholarly conference (with papers, round tables, and other academic events) nested within a Renaissance-faire-like carnival (featuring exhibits, gaming, contests, and activities of all kinds).
Over the last decade or so, scholar-cooks, TV chefs, and research teams like the Folger’s ‘Before Farm to Table’ initiative have been recreating Medieval and Renaissance dishes with the help of historic recipes, ingredients, tools, and techniques. The challenges are many--making a chicken supper from a Renaissance cookery book will teach us little if we use a factory-raised bird full of antibiotics—but so too are the insights and pleasures to be gained. We stand to learn much about these cultures and the lived, embodied experiences of their members by actively preparing and consuming their own food and drink.
As an exploration of historic culinary arts and cuisine, this PCDP will feature several scholar-cooks who will prepare various concoctions in the Ohio Union’s Instructional Kitchen. To complement these lecture-demonstrations we seek papers from faculty, graduate students, and others that address any and all aspects of Medieval and Renaissance food cultures. Topics might include recipe books as literary texts, cooking and eating as social practices, and the pleasures and perils of recreating historic dishes. Speakers may also propose small-scale cooking demonstrations.
Conference presentations will generally be limited to 20 minutes duration, followed by 10 minutes of discussion (we can accommodate paper presentation via Zoom); they will be organized thematically into sessions of three or four papers each. Other presentations, including music, dance, art, gaming, readings, and other activities or displays, will be accommodated more freely according to our resources of space and scheduling.
Please send your presentation ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org, including a title, abstract, and contact information. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and attached as either a Word document or PDF.
The submission deadline for abstracts and panel proposals has been extended to November 30, 2021.