Recently I received an email notification that the great Australian novelist Charlotte Wood had posted on her blog How to Shuck an Oyster after quite a long interval. She reflected that her blog had become “moribund”. Perhaps because her latest novel, the awarding winning The Natural Way of Things, is far removed from the original subject matter of her previous novel and the blog. This spurred reflection on the status, purpose and fate of The World in a Wine Glass, and how it needed rejuvenation.
The result is a new name: Worlds in a Wine Glass. This aligns with a conference I’m convening in London next month that has the same title. Details of this event as follows.
On 9 and 10 May this year more than twenty researchers across disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, business and marketing, and agricultural science, will meet at the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, King’s College London, for the inaugural Worlds in a Wine Glass Conference.
The call for papers stated:
As of the 1990s wine grapes are cultivated in a greater diversity of places – and grape wine consumed by a greater number of people – than any other time in history. This second wave of wine globalisation arose from a confluence of economic, social and cultural factors in the latter part of twentieth century. Whereas the first wave of globalisation in the late nineteenth century resulted from the devastation of European Old World vineyards after biological transmissions of pests and diseases from the New World of the Americas, the second wave has its origins in social revolution and economic change, first in the western world, and more recently in China and other Asian nations. The social and cultural causes and effects of these changes say a great deal about human ambition, desire and identity.
During the recent wave of globalisation, researchers in the humanities and social sciences began to pay more attention to how the production, distribution and consumption of wine as a research lens reveals new understanding of national and local/global identities, changing performances of class and gender, and expressions and sacralisations of micro-environments and place. This symposium explores 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. How can wine studies contribute to related subjects such as food; what are the methodological frames for wine studies? Is it possible to identify critical wine studies as separate from industry development studies of wine, or are convergences inevitable?
Papers are invited – but not limited – to the theme of the worlds in a wine glass: historical worlds, social and cultural worlds; identity-focused worlds; the local, national and global, and; narrative or discursive worlds.
This two-day event will be structured according to disciplinary panels with an interactive plenary devoted to identifying transdisciplinary commonalties. A keynote presentation by eminent food and beer historian Professor Jeffrey Pilcher, University of Toronto Canada, will provide context for the state of the field of humanities and social scientific wine research. Presenters will be invited to make submissions for a special issue of Global Food History on Wine to be co-edited by Jeffrey Pilcher and Julie McIntyre.
The two-day program encompasses a very exciting range of papers by some of the world’s leading researchers on wine. I’ll post a link to the program when it’s live.
The plenary topic is “If we have food studies do we need wine studies?” What do you think?
Conference registration here.