Call for papers

Wine studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences - Second International Conference

Wine worlds, networks and scales

Intermediation in the production, distribution and consumption of wine

Monde du vin, réseaux et échelles

Intermédiations dans la production, la distribution et la consommation du vin

Co-hosted by Université Bordeaux-Montaigne (UBM), France & University of Newcastle (UON), Australia

17-19 October 2018 - BORDEAUX


Université Bordeaux-Montaigne,

Domaine Universitaire, 19 esplanade des Antilles, 33607 Pessac, France

Key Dates

Abstract proposals due: 15 May 2018

Presenters announced: 15 June 2018

Registration closes: 15 Sept 2018

Conference held: 17-19 October 2018

In 1861, Alexander Kelly wrote in The Vine in Australia ‘Who can imagine a farmer, after he has grown, harvested, thrashed and bagged his wheat, being obliged not only to grind it, but also convert it into bread before he can sell it? (Sands, Kenny and Co., Melbourne, 1861, p. 7).

Unlike wheat, “wine” for many producers in Australia, and some other countries, is an agricultural product requiring a complex set of decisions and actions that is different than for producers of other crops for food, beverages, fibre or energy. The intermediations of the “wine world” require producers to negotiate with both traders and consumers to sell their product. Consequently the actors involved at each stage of the production line of wine interact with the nonhuman environment and adapt to government policy as well as the imperatives of financial institutions, the transport networks they use – and the business scapes, expectations and constraints of rural, peri-urban or urban communities, along with the social values and cultural fashion of the worlds they deal with. The resulting structures include formal winegrowing organisations which operate at varying scales from local to national, and legal frameworks such as appellations d’origine controllee (AOC).

The “wine world” also has informal structures in which actors operate according to distinctive norms. The “wine world” is thus a complex paradigm shaped by the transmission of practices and know-how (in production, vinification as well as trade and tasting) and yet these traditions are continuously impacted by innovations. The “wine world” is a confluence of past practices, present responses and innovations, and future plans and “wine” from a historical perspective as an agricultural product is local and global (“glocal” to some ways of thinking), entwining generations while opening up and melding very different territories and cultures.

A diachronic perspective may be applied to analyse the interlocking scales in the “wine world” as well as the multiform networks that intersect and interfere in this milieu, creating a complex of production, distribution and consumption. Consequently, it is necessary to observe how actors are predisposed to adapt to local, national or international logics, or expectations and constraints – be they legal, normative, economic, commercial, social or cultural.

For all of these reasons, “wine” and the “wine world” as a prism for case studies constitutes a connected subject research, particularly – but not only – for researchers in the humanities and social sciences.

We invite submissions from researchers paying attention to interconnections between: the regulation and supervision of the production of wine, the role of traders and other commercial actors in the flow of wine products, the transfers of knowledge and know-how in wine production and trade, the expectations of consumers to influence and achieve styles and quality of wine, or investigating these factors and the diffusion of wine.

We are interested to receive proposals from historians, sociologists, anthropologists and geographers. Abstracts must be no longer than 300 words and are required to outline the research sources and method of the paper proposed. Please append a biographical note of (maximum) 300 words.

Email submissions for French proposals to and English-language proposals to by midnight 15 May 2018.

This is a dual language conference and participants will be asked to present their slide presentations in French and English to foster the cross-pollination of ideas.

Cost of full registration is 100 Euros (AUD$150). Postgraduate registration is 50 Euros (AUD$75). Participants to organise their own travel and accommodation.

The event will entail a convivium of wines shared by participants (this will be explained further to the participants whose proposals are accepted for the conference).