The Umbra Institute’s biennial
Food Conference

Food & Hybridity
June 13-16, 2024 in Perugia, Italy

This sixth edition of the Umbra Institute’s biennial Food Conference entitled, “Food & Hybridity”, will be held from June 13-16, 2024, in Perugia, Italy.

Call for Papers

Keynote Speaker

Professor Heather A. Paxson of the MIT Anthropology Department. Photo by Allegra Boverman.

The Keynote speaker will be Heather Paxson, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Anthropology at MIT. She received her PhD from Stanford University in 2008. Broadly interested in the moral meaning of people’s everyday activities, she researched motherhood and family planning in Athens, Greece before turning her attention to food, and to what was being called a “renaissance” in American artisan cheesemaking. The Life of Cheese: Crafting Food and Value in America was published by University of California Press in 2013. Her current research studies the practical and semiotic work of moving perishable foods across international borders. Heather was an Area Editor on the James Beard award-winning Oxford Companion to Cheese (2016), and her most recent publication is the edited volume, Eating beside Ourselves: Thresholds of Foods and Bodies (Duke, 2023).

Professor Paxson’s selected publications include:
Eating beside Ourselves: Thresholds of Foods and Bodies. Duke University Press (2023). Open Access available here.
Protecting Perishable Values: Timescapes of Moving Fermented Foods across Oceans and International Borders.” Current Anthropology 62(S24): S334-42. (2021)
“‘Don’t Pack a Pest’: Parts, Wholes, and the Porosity of Food Borders”. Food Culture & Society 22(5): 657-73. (2019)
“Rethinking Food and its Eaters: Opening the Black Boxes of Safety and Nutrition.” In The Handbook of Food and Anthropology. Jakob A. Klein and James I. Watson, eds. Pp. 268-288. London: Bloomsbury. (2016)
The Life of Cheese: Crafting Food and Value in America. University of California Press (2013).
Cheese Cultures: Transforming American Tastes and Traditions.” Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture 10(4): 35-47. (2010)
Locating Value in Artisan Cheese: Reverse-Engineering Terroir for New World Landscapes.” American Anthropologist112(3): 442-455. (2010)

For additional information, explore this site or email us at [email protected].

We look forward  to welcoming you all
to Perugia and the Umbra Institute! 

Our Central Location
Piazza IV Novembre 23, Perugia, Italy