Reign of Terroir in the Humanities
The Ideological Roots of Wine
April 5, 2012
Pembroke Hall 305
172 Meeting Street
Attachments to terroir among culinary professionals and artisanal food producers have intensified in the past two decades, helping to fuel academic interest in the location of taste. Long thought by geologists and environmental scientists as embodying a direct correlation between the natural and gustatory worlds, scholars in the humanities are now critical of terroir’s often nationalist, exclusionist, and protectionist discourse. By speaking across disciplines and national fields, we can reach an understanding of terroir that digs below its surface aesthetic, and begins to recognize the phenomenon’s deeper roots; land devaluation, global competition, regional mercantilism, etc. Although many artisanal producer communities, including cheese makers, olive oil manufacturers, chocolatiers, and even beer brewers, have adopted the ready-made packaging of discursive terroir, our discussion will focus on where its impact has been most penetrating, the international wine trade.
"Reign of Terroir in the Humanities" seeks to take stock of the current state of the field while allowing for a cross-disciplinary discussion of historical and contemporary food cultures. All faculty, students, and members of the community with an interest in food & wine are invited and encouraged to attend.
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