As part of the initiative to expand academic opportunity and globalize the curriculum, the Program in International Studies, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Applied Science and Technology are exploring the development of cuisine studies at RIT.
As a term, "cuisine" conveys cooking practices and traditions, usually associated with cultures, religions and communities. Cuisine may be identified by a region or place, and it often features locally produced and traded ingredients. Whereas food and drink substances feature prominently in analyses of cuisine heritage, technology has played an equally important role in development of culinary and beverage specialization, experimentation and innovation.
Technology resides at the heart of the hearth and home. Many of the food and drink traditions that today span the globe, originated in kitchens, villages and homes, and were the product of familial, gendered and ethnic encounters. As cuisines moved from the home to the restaurant, and onto television and, more recently, the internet, technology has responded to new patterns of foodstuff consumption and foodways production.
Just as cuisine may be interpreted partly as a byproduct of culinary skill and refinement, technology has emerged to engage, critique and finesse cuisine. This conference explores new research about how the development of technology affects food and drink cultures and practices, and how cuisine and culture respond to, are challenged by, and are transformed by technological innovation.
The Conable Conference acknowledges the generous support of the Program in International Studies, in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the College of Liberal Arts, the University of California, Davis, and the Conable Endowment. The Conable Endowment in International Studies honors the former Rochester-area politician and diplomat, Barber B. Conable, Jr., who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1964 to 1984 and as president of the World Bank from 1986 to 1991. The Conable Chair, created through a lead grant from the Starr Foundation, is housed in RIT's Department of Sociology and Anthropology.