Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Origin of Chocolate

The enclosed link leads to a 1998 article on the archeological findings on the consumption of chocolate more than 3,000 years ago.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Food Publication

The following is a link to a literary magazine devoted to food fiction and poetry.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Corrections to the program and delays

The Conference Program posted a few days ago it is only a draft. Some minor changes will be needed between now and the time in December when participants confirm their attendance.

For technical reasons we will be unable to post in the Web page of the conference the registration form until next week.

Monday, October 29, 2007

For the Conference Participants

As you must have noticed, the program of the 5th Conference on Food Representation in Literature, Film and the Other Arts has been posted in the previous entry at this, the Conference Blog. Please let us know if the information concerning your participation is incorrect. All participants in the Conference must be registered by Friday, December 14, 2007 to be included in the program. A printable registration form will be available at the Conference Web site, by Tuesday, November 6.

Your presentation should not exceed twenty minutes of reading time, as you will be part of a panel of three or four presenters and equal time will be allotted for each one.

If you will need audiovisual equipment for your presentation, do not forget to request it on the registration form.

The conference will start late afternoon on Thursday, February 21, and will continue until early afternoon on Saturday, February 23.

If you are interested in seeing your paper published in Convivium Artium, the conference electronic journal, please submit your manuscript electronically no later than March 14, 2008. The third issue of the journal shall be available on the web by the time of the conference.

The Radisson Hotel Market Square is offering a special conference rate of $99.00 plus taxes per night for single or double occupancy. You must contact them soon in order to get this special conference rate. San Antonio’s hotels are regularly booked many weeks in advance, and it will be difficult to find a reasonable rate later. For reservations at the Radisson Hotel Market Square call 1-800-333-3333, or (210) 224-7155 and let them know you are attending the UTSA Department of Modern Languages and Literatures Food Conference. You can also make your reservations on line at The hotel’s electronic page can be seen at: .

The Radisson Hotel Market Square is across from the UTSA Downtown Campus, where most conference activities are going to take place. You will have no need for transportation to attend the Conference and to visit the main attractions in downtown San Antonio. From the airport you can take a taxi or a SATrans airport shuttle.

If you need more information, please consult the Conference Web page, the Conference Blog or contact us by phone (210 458-5186), FAX (210 458-5672, e-mail ( or regular mail (Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. The University of Texas at San Antonio. One UTSA Circle. San Antonio, TX 78249). We are looking forward to having you here in February, and to participate with us in what promises to be a most engaging intellectual meeting.

Santiago Daydi-Tolson
Conference Organizer

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Conference Highlights

The organization of the 5th Conference on Food Representation in Literature, Film and the Other Arts has been going slowly but steadily. A full program shall be ready and posted here within a week.

At this moment we can announce that the main speaker at the conference inaugural session on Thursday evening, February 21, 2008, will be Professor Sandra Gilbert.

Professor Wendy Barker is preparing a program for the Poetry Cafe that will be open on Friday evening, with an offering of a variety of good poetic readings on food.

The conference will meet al day Friday, Februeary 22, and the morning of Saturday 23. More than seventy speakers will be presenting their research in relation to the artistic use of food by literary authors and filmakers from different countries and periods. From Classical Greece to contemporary film, papers will address the many different uses of food imagery and food themes as significant and aesthetic components of the work of art.

As in previous conferences, participants will have the opportunity to converse with specialists in fields other than their own but equally centered in food as a subject of study and critical discusion.

San Antonio's dowtown amenities, and in special restaurants, should satisfy most participants, as the conference will meet at the downtown campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio, across from the old Market and a few blocks away from the River Walk.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Still Life Exhibit

Althoug it has already closed, the recent exhibit of "new still life" at the University of Texas at San Antonio deserves attention. The following link takes you to a brief note on the exhibit.

Curious learning

"Curious learning," writes Bertrand Russell in his article 'Useless Knowledge', from his book In Praise of Idleness, "not only makes unpleasant things less unpleasant, but also makes pleasant things more pleasant. I have enjoyed peaches and apricots more since I have known that they were first cultivated in China in the early days of the Han dynasty; that Chinese hostages held by the great King Kaniska introduced them into India, whence they spread to Persia, reaching the Roman Empire in the first century of our era; that the word 'apricot' is derived from the same Latin source as the word 'precocious,' because the apricot ripens aerly; and that the A at the beginning was added by mistake, owing to a false etymology. All this makes the fruit taste much sweeter."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Call for Papers

The deadline for sending proposals for papers and sessions for the 5th Conference on Food Representation in Literature, Film and the Arts is coming soon. The response to the call has been encouraging and judging by the quality of the materials submitted we can expect to have a varied and stimulating conference next Spring. In a few days we will be posting here a tentative program for the conference.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

On eating Ratatouille

As art form, the recently released animated film Ratatouille deserves attention for its treatment of food as the subject matter for a story, and for its pictorial representation. The visual aspect of food being prepared, served and consumed is wonderfully treated in an almost continuos series of images that are a delight to the eyes. The carefully realistic depiction of the kitchen of a successful Parisian restaurant acquires at a climatic moment the character of a grandiose, if fantastic, mural that one would have liked to enjoy for a few more seconds. Unfortunately, the art of animation has rarely been used to tell a convincing and intelligent story. In this case there is no exception to the rule, but the quality of the images and the dominant presence of food offer enough pleasure to forget the inane narrative and its trite components. The reference, though, to traditional stories related to food as a symbol are obviously a sign of an artistic approach to a work conceived for popular entertainment. One cannot but remember, if in a fading memory of old black and white animation shorts, the story of the country mouse who does to the big city to visit an urban cousin. Food in abundance and variety unknown to the farm boy, I mean mouse, is seen both as a manifestation of the rich life of the city and of the dangers and difficulties the city folk have to confront in order to be successful. It is the old, rather idealistic story of the underdog who makes it big in spite of all odds. It is the old wife's tale of the happy outcome fed to a society blinded to its defects by the improbable dream of attaining success and happiness by overcoming the same evil forces that define such success. Food, with its strongly sentimental charge works wonders in making the dream a truly convincing one. Back in the reality of the world not beautifully drawn by the artist of computer animation, one cannot but run to the kitchen and prepare a succulent and sentimentally nutritious meal.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Call for Papers

In February of the year 2000 we hosted at The University of Texas at San Antonio the first interdisciplinary conference on "Food Representation in Literature, Film and the Other Arts". Two years later, encouraged by the excellent response to the conference, we held a second one under the same title. Since then, we have had two more conferences, in 2004 and 2006.

The next conference, the 5th one, will take place in February of 2008. Based on previous experience we count on having many participants addressing a variety of issues related to food and the arts. A Call for Papers was sent to several academic publications and academic departments a few month ago:


San Antonio, Texas
February 21-23, 2008

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
College of Liberal and Fine Arts
The University of Texas at San Antonio

The objective of this interdisciplinary, multicultural conference is to examine, celebrate, and enjoy the variety of ways in which food has been represented in literature and the other arts throughout time and throughout the planet.

Two hundred-word summaries of papers on any aspect of the general theme and written in any of the several languages taught at The University of Texas at San Antonio (English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Italian, and Japanese) will be considered. Proposals for special panels will also be accepted.

Proposals for individual papers or sessions should be postmarked or e-mailed no later than September 15, 2007 and should be addressed to:
Professor Santiago DaydĂ­-Tolson, Conference Chair
Department of Modern Languages & Literatures
The University of Texas at San Antonio
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, Texas 78249-0644

For more detailed and updated information, including previous Conference Programs, and Convivium Artium, the electronic journal on food representation in literature and the arts visit the Conference Web Page:


Today we are beginning this blog as a means to diseminating information about the Conference, and as a site for exchanging ideas on the subject of food as a subject in literature, film and the arts.

In addition, and as indicated in the Call for Papers, we edit an electronic journal or page devoted to the same subject: Convivium Artium, the Banquet of the Arts.