EXTENDED DEADLINE CfP The Taste of War: Values and Meanings of Food in WWII Italy and France

Patrizia Sambuco's picture
Call for Papers
April 26, 2019
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
French History / Studies, Italian History / Studies, Literature, Oral History, Women's & Gender History / Studies

EXTENDED DEADLINE CfP The Taste of War: Values and Meanings of Food in WWII Italy and France

Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory, Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Studies, University of London

CFP deadline (extended): 26 April 2019

Conference:  5 July 2019


Keynote speaker: Kay Chadwick (Liverpool)

The conference aims to bring together scholars working on the history, culture and memory of World War Two to discuss the material and imaginary importance of food in wartime Italy and France. Food is crucial for human survival in wartime but is also a means for economic and strategic military power. Moreover, history, literature and cinema have demonstrated its symbolic significance in creating a message of resilience for the present and future. Cara de Silva, In Memory’s Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezin (2006) and Anne Georget’s documentary, Imaginary Feasts(2014) are paradigmatic testimonies of the nourishing effect of food imaginaries to survive dreary periods of starvation. Food becomes therefore both a tool to narrate the war and its memory; a symbol of hope; and a lens through which interpret the relation between governments and their population, between allied troops and local people, between occupied territories and enemies. WWII Italy and France provide an interesting viewpoint for this analysis: both economies were mainly agricultural, and in both countries food shortage produced a marked distinction between rural and urban areas. Historical events brought the two countries to face Nazi occupation and Allies liberation, requisitions and the black market.

We invite papers that address the discourse of food in WWII Italy or France within cultural, literary and historical perspectives, focusing on either of the countries or on a comparative approach. 

Topics may include the following: 

- Food supply and women’s work 
- Food as a means of propaganda 
- Black market
- Cinematic and literary representations of food aid
- Food as a means of economic power
- Narratives of food in wartime memoirs 
- Food in the cultural memory of WWII

Interested speakers should send an abstract of about 250 words and a short bio to Dr Patrizia Sambuco email: patrizia.sambuco@sas.ac.uk by 26 April 2019.

Organizers: Katia Pizzi (IMLR), Patrizia Sambuco (IMLR)

Contact Info: 

Dr Patrizia Sambuco