Feminist and Queer Perspectives on Food

2nd Vienna Workshop on STEM Museums, Gender and Sexuality

Keywords: Food, Exhibiting Food, Queer(y)ing Food Collections, Gender and Sexuality, Science and Technology, Material Culture

 5th and 6th of May 2022

Where: Technisches Museum Wien

The Call for Papers is now closed! Registration is open via gender@tmw.at. Please find the programme and more information here: Feminist and Queer Perspectives on Food

The study of human nutrition, its foundations and practices has established itself as an interdisciplinary field and is related to sociology, history, cultural and social anthropology, and philosophy, among others. Food is explored as a cultural and social phenomenon that carries symbolic and material dimensions (e.g., from a gender perspective: Tanja Paulitz) and raises questions of identity (e.g., from an intersectional perspective: Psyche Williams-Forson). Food and its production - from the field to the plate - are topics of consumer, economic, social and technological history (e.g., Uwe Spiekermann). When the history of the body is addressed, nutrition and gender finally come into view from a mostly critical, (queer) feminist perspective, e.g., in the field of fat studies. Food shapes and produces corporeal bodies and social subjects. In recent years, museum exhibitions have increasingly dealt with the history and future of food, including a focus on the industrialisation of food production (e.g. Geschmackssache [Matter of Taste], Technisches Museum Wien 2008/09; Unser täglich Brot [Our Daily Bread], Technoseum Mannheim 2011/12) and the sustainability of contemporary and future consumption (e.g. Food Revolution 5.0, Museum Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg 2017 etc.; Bigger than the Plate, Victoria & Albert Museum London 2019; Future Food, Deutsches Hygiene Museum Dresden 2020/21; Ablaufdatum [Expiry Date], Naturhistorisches Museum Wien 2020/21).

Food and Gender are the focus of the 2nd Vienna Workshop on STEM Museums, Gender and Sexuality. As a part of the museum’s “Focus Gender” and on the occasion of a special exhibition on food at the TMW (opening 11/2021), this workshop will critically address constructions of gendered and/or heteronormative technology and science and emphasise the role of the object and material culture in queer and feminist approaches to science and technology studies with a focus on food.

Which challenges and potentials arise from gender-informed engagement with food and nutrition? How can museums understand, collect and exhibit food as a multifaceted gendered phenomenon? What does the material culture of food look like?

Submissions can address, for example:
  • Food, gender and/or sexuality in (technical and natural science) collections and exhibitions
  • histories of food and gender and/or sexualities
  • Intersectional perspectives on food with regard to gender and/or sexuality as well as ethnicity, religion, disability, race
  • Questions of documentation, indexing and categorisation
  • Working groups, publics, and involving ‘outside’ expertise in science museums and collections We are looking for diverse responses from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. We encourage contributions from early career scholars, practitioners, and museum professionals.
We are also especially interested in proposals that tackle the intersections of gender and sexuality with religion, ethnicity, race, or disability. We invite you to use objects from the collection group "Food and Beverages" of the Technisches Museum Wien as a starting point for reflection (see https://bit.ly/2R5fFCc).

Please submit abstracts of 150 words for 15-minute paper, workshops or creative provocations and a biography of no more than 100 words to by 15 July. Decisions will be made by the workshop leaders Dr Sophie Gerber (Technisches Museum, Vienna) and Sophie Kühnlenz (scholar in residence, Cologne/Vienna) by mid-September.

We can confirm that the workshop will have the following access provisions: Wheelchair accessible, Lift access, non-gendered bathrooms for the day, pronoun badges, guide animals, room for breastfeeding/expressing milk, quiet room (prayer and/or sensory breaks). No capability for hearing loops.
We will also have an anti-discrimination and harassment policy that all participants will be required to sign, and which will be enforced throughout the workshop. Our priority is to make the workshop as accessible as possible. If you have any queries, or if there are other confirmations needed, please contact the organisers on .

Participation is free and we are willing to support participants with possible grant applications. The workshop language is English.

We are planning an (electronic) publication of the contributions in German and English. If the overall pandemic situation does not permit a face-to-face event, contributors will be informed about the change to a fully online format. We understand submitted contributions as binding offers for the two possible formats of an online or a face-to-face event.

We look forward to receiving your submissions!