It has been exactly one month since I published a blog post. Nothing exceptional has happened in that time (read: I have no excuses to offer), except for the fact that I, as I called it, had a “stomach disturbance.” In hindsight, it wasn’t that bad and it was temporary. However, in my aching stupor, as I moaned to myself, I thought I’m never going to write about food again; I’m getting rid of the blog. It’s funny how we can get knocked off course and develop quick aversions to favorite things when the craving and passion for them suddenly disappears.
I’m excited to share a recent discovery. With the utmost luck, I serendipitously stumbled upon a food conference happening in San Antonio. The Food in Literature and the Arts conference is being hosted by The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) on February 23-25, 2012, at its downtown campus. There is no formal university food studies program in San Antonio, so it’s such a pleasant surprise to discover this conference happening here. As I suspected, the driver behind it is a professor passionate about interdisciplinary food studies. Santiago Daydi-Tolson, professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, organizes the conference, dubbed an interdisciplinary and multicultural conference on food representation in literature, film and the other arts. This is their seventh biennial event.
It leans academic in nature, and while some of the topics may verge on the obscure, it fascinates. Professors, writers, poets, artists, cooks, anthropologists and more–will convene from around the world to give presentations on everything from the photography of Ferran Adriá’s food (of El Bulli in Spain, often called the world’s greatest chef); food in author Cormac McCarthy’s The Road; friendship and baked goods; and, subjects closer to home, a panel on tamales and chili queens. There was even an article written about this conference in The New York Times in 2006, as well as an interview on NPR’s The Splendid Table in 2008. It is open to the public, and registration is the day of the conference. (Cost TBD.) For more information, please visit the conference blog here. (Please note the panels will be presented in the language of their respective titles.)
In the words of Professor Daydi-Tolson from the Times article, the conference will be “a pleasant gathering of food enthusiasts enjoying what they like best — food and scholarship.” Sounds intriguing and fun, and you can be sure I’ll be blogging about it.