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The Theme for 2020
“The Education of the Senses: Aesthetics of Food and Drink“

‘Pleasure that knows, knowledge that enjoys’ – Giorgio Agamben

Sensory taste can be considered as a type of knowledge. Historical, socio-cultural and aesthetic conditions determine and influence the development of taste… at different times and in different places.

How ‘sense’ is produced in different contexts thus provides a lens through which human aesthetic experience (from aesthesis, the ancient Greek word for ‘sensory sensitivity’ ) can be (re)conceived, theorised, reimagined or reconfigured. 

With the purpose of creating an opportunity to ‘make sense’ of how we have come this far and where education might lead us in the future, a gastronomic education of the senses implies tackling multiple layers of psychosocial influence, different forms of media, as well as the phenomenological, multi-sensory, and of course gastronomic aspects of aesthetic experience.

We invite Symposiasts, in the formal presentations and casual  discussions, to consider ...  

  • Aesthetics of food in art, literature, film and video (from naturalistic to pornographic)

  • The ‘aestheticization of everyday life’ (the appeal made to each and all the senses via marketing, packaging, ‘experiences,’ narratives, discourse, images, words)

  • The aesthetic implications of the creative turn (‘creative industries’) in culinary arts: multisensory dining, gastrophysics and techno-emotive cuisine

  • Environmental aesthetics: e.g., Slow Food approaches, community well-being, education, the ethical connection of paddock to plate to palate

  • Culture-critical approaches to aesthetic experience as it pertains to food, wine and other drinks

  • Pleasure and its Discontents: moral/ethical histories of food (and drink) aesthetics

  • Relating Art and Science: from neuroscience to the arts

  • Judging wine: personal preferences vs objective qualities

  • Aesthetics as a tool: the power of aesthetics to influence perception and change

  • The ‘aesthetics of deliciousness’ (citing Daniel Harris [2001] Cute, Quaint, Hungry and Romantic: The Aesthetics of Consumerism)

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