Wine Studies holds international conference

Friday, 22 April 2016

The University of Newcastle’s Wine Studies Research Network (WSRN) will host an international conference in collaboration with the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies at King’s College London, 9 to 10 May 2016.

Worlds in a Wineglass conference

Researchers at the Worlds in a Wine Glass conference will explore how current inquiries on wine in the humanities and social sciences intersect with and diverge from food studies, studies of drinks and other forms of alcohol, agricultural/environmental studies and related disciplines such as Business, Geography and Tourism.

Keynote speaker Jeffrey M. Pilcher is Professor of Food History at the University of Toronto, Canada, the first such dedicated position in a North American university. His current research examines the global spread of European beer through trade, migration and colonialism over the past two centuries.

Professor Pilcher will also be a discussant in the conference plenary on the topic: “If we have food studies do we need wine studies?” Fellow discussants are Professor John Germov, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Education and Arts at the University of Newcastle, and leader of the Wine Studies Research Network; Kathleen A. Brosnan, the Travis Chair of History at the University of Oklahoma and president of the American Society for Environmental History; and Professor Marion Demossier, Chair and head of department of Modern Languages, University of Southampton, UK.

“Academic conferences are most often discipline-focused. This two-day event instead takes a ‘studies’ approach. It brings together academics from a range of disciplines who would otherwise not have an opportunity to discuss wine studies as a new and specialist subject area,” said conference convenor Dr Julie McIntyre.

“Wine globalisation since the 1990s has raised questions that necessitate humanities and social science research and analysis. Cross-disciplinarity is required to interpret the complex interplay of wine production, distribution and consumption for what it evidences of economic, social and cultural change, environmental politics and identities.

“Apart from showcasing research, the conference is aimed at refining theories and methods that are common to all researchers in wine studies. The schedule of presenters reflects the broad reach of this subject of study across disciplinary boundaries. And there are already plans for international collaboration and co-publication.”

This is a key event for the Australian Research Council Industry Linkage Project ‘Vines, Wine and Identity: the Hunter Valley NSW and changing Australian taste’, which is being undertaken by the Wine Studies Research Network in partnership with the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association and Newcastle Museum.

  • Dr Julie McIntyre

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