The Language of Food: Exploring Culinary Communication and Culture

Food Studies_2024-01-29
29 Jan 2024 at 09.00 AM - 30 Jan 2024 at 02.00 PM Alumni, Current Students, Industry/Academic Partners, Prospective Students, Public
Organised by:
Keri Matwick

Call for abstracts 

Abstract submission deadline: August 15th, 2023 

The Language of Food academic symposium seeks to delve into the complex relationship between language, food, and culture. Food has always been a means of communication, expressing identity, tradition, and social dynamics within communities. This symposium will bring together scholars, researchers, and practitioners from diverse disciplines such as linguistics, anthropology, sociology, history, and culinary arts. By examining various aspects of culinary communication, we aim to deepen our understanding of how language shapes and is shaped by food practices. 

Topics to be explored include the role of food-related vocabulary and metaphors in language, the social and cultural dimensions of food language, the use of food as a medium of communication in different societies, and the impact of globalization on food discourse. We will also investigate how food-related texts, such as food stall signages, government material, cookbooks, menus, and food blogs, contribute to the construction and transmission of culinary knowledge. 

Through a keynote presentation and panel discussions, this symposium will foster intellectual exchange and collaboration among participants. We hope to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue that sheds light on the interconnectedness of food, language, and culture, while also providing insights into the future directions of research in this growing field of food studies. 

Ultimately, this symposium aims to highlight the significance of the language of food in understanding and appreciating diverse culinary traditions, fostering intercultural understanding, and addressing pressing societal issues such as food insecurity, sustainability, heritage preservation, and food innovation. By unraveling the complexities of culinary communication, we can pave the way for a more informed and gastronomically rich future. 

Scholars are welcome to explore culinary communication and culture, as well as any of the following suggested topics: 

  • Food, culture, and communication 
  • Impact of globalization on food discourse 
  • Language of food and gender 
  • Multilingualism and food 
  • Food in government material 
  • Food in social media 
  • Food and safety 
  • Food and writing genres (short story, narrative) 
  • Language of food and narrative 
  • New sources of language of food 
  • Food/music/arts/dance/theatre 
  • Food as a window to broader historical questions 
  • Language of food and marketing 
  • Food, communication, and pedagogy 
  • Food as cultural signifier (cultural capital, community bonding)  

Abstracts and queries can be submitted to:  

[email protected] 

Notifications of acceptance will be sent out in early September 2023. 
Submission details: 

Name, designation, affiliation, title, abstract (250-350 words), indicate online or in-person 


The conference will take place in-person and online.  


This hybrid conference will be two days with in-person events held at Nanyang Technological University. There will be a keynote speaker and panels of 3 presentations per panel. Presentations are 20-25 mins each.  

Associated costs: 

Travel and accommodation costs may be supplemented to international participants.  

Food is provided for on-site participants during the symposium. 

Dr. Keri Matwick, Nanyang Technological University, Chair of Committee and contact person 

[email protected]