Back to Blog

Hosting the 5th Perugia Food & Sustainability Studies Conference – “Food Movements – Moving Food”

From June 9th to June 12th, 2022, the International Biennial Perugia Food & Sustainability Studies ConferenceFood Movements – Moving Food, organized by The Umbra Institute in collaboration with its partners (Università di Perugia, Università per Stranieri, Arcadia University, Ohio Wesleyan University) hosted scholars, researchers, reporters and university administrators from all over the world to offer and discuss research concerning the links between food and movement through regional, national, and international networks. Crucial matters such as Food, Nutrition, and their inevitable links with the entire socio-political sphere were addressed in the ancient fortress of San Lorenzo Insula, right in the heart of the Perugian acropolis.


The Discussion: Climate Change, the Global Pandemic, and other issues

Food & Sustainability Studies Conference Attendees at Orto SolePeople, food, and agricultural products are in constant movement, affecting landscapes, material practices, and cultural representations. This fifth Food & Sustainability Studies Conference aimed to examine the effects of these movements on local, regional, national, and international communities, and how the Covid pandemic has altered (or shaped) these movements. In particular, the conference sought to understand continuities/discontinuities in current and past long-distance food exchanges, the relationships between “authentic” and diasporic foodways, the forced movement of agricultural workers and their crops in the face of climate change and a global pandemic, and the impact of economic and social disparities on current and future food movements. By posing these questions, the conference offered a wide range of perspectives that contemplated intersections between the Food Studies realm and other fields, such as education, activism and social movements, identity politics, literature, migration studies, geography, hospitality, and environmental studies.


Conference Organization & Speakers

“Sustainability and food studies are the core of the Umbra Institute’s academic offerings and research” said Dr. Zachary B. Nowak, the Umbra Institute’s Director and member of the conference organizing committee: “and this fifth Food & Sustainability Studies Conference keeps strengthening our efforts to foster research and discussion about food, food systems, and the larger environment in a post-pandemic, hyper-globalized context, in Italy as well as abroad.” Dr. Clelia Viecelli, the lead instructor of Umbra’s program in Food, Sustainability, & Environment and member of the Organizing Committee, added: “I’m extremely happy and proud of the academic level of the event, of our international guests, as well as of the quality of the discussions that resulted from them.”

The Conference hosted Prof. Krishnendu Ray of New York University as keynote speaker. Krishnendu Ray received his Ph.D. in Sociology from SUNY Binghamton in 2001, and holds a master’s degree in Political Science from Delhi University, India. Prior to joining the NYU faculty in 2005, Krishnendu was a faculty member and an Acting Associate Dean for Curriculum Development at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA).

This year Umbra Institute Food Conference marks the first international meeting organized by the Institute after a two-year forced interruption due to the pandemic. All organizers, together with all Umbra Staff, were excited to finally have the chance to repeat the big event, and hope to host the sixth edition in 2024.

Thank you all for your enthusiasm and participation, see you in two years!


The Conference Organizing Committee

The Umbra Staff


Follow Us on Instagram to Stay In the Know!