University of Coimbra

Soil and climate are the natural elements essential for food production. Nature is also made of forms of life, plants and animals that provide sustenance. This vital universe, which includes the human species, feeds and is food itself, within a dynamic chain where resources and nutrients are exchanged, based on the diversity and interdependence provided by nature. Human intervention in the environment has transformed natural resources into domesticated, transformed and conditioned food. These have acquired food status and are served on our tables but, in many circumstances, are still highly dependent on the type of soil, water resources, climate, the season of the year, and species’ adaptability. In that sense, even domesticated nature determines what we eat, thus becoming Ladyship of the Table.

Understanding the complex phenomenon of food must be done within its relationship with nature and requires the interpretation of the factors responsible for the overcoming of the purely biological level of the food act and its conception as a cultural phenomenon. Taste, concern about health, sustainability, social, political and economic representations, as well as religious values, philosophical, ethical and aesthetic concerns on what we eat contribute to make of the table a place of scrutiny. That is, the table, as a space for the staging of norms, representations and values, becomes the Mistress of Nature.

Contributions must be structured around these main themes, or envisaging the promotion of dialogue. They can be based on broad, interdisciplinary and historical approaches, or, instead, privilege a vertical and/or disciplinary treatment of the areas mentioned above, or of the following:

From nature, ladyship of the table…

  1. Natural tables: from a generous garden to the scarcity of the desert.

  2. Seasonal tables and their limits.

  3. Indigestible tables: what is and isn’t good for eating.

  4. Allogeneic tables: feeding on the nature of others.

  5. Sustainable and unsustainable tables: the limits of nature.

…to the table, mistress of nature

  1. Healthy tables: dietary models.

  2. Collective tables: cultural models when sharing table.

  3. Selected tables: food choices.

  4. Processed tables: food processing techniques.

  5. Artistic tables: food in art (literature, painting, cinema, ephemeral arts).

Proposal submission


Proposal submission: until june 15

Acceptance notification: june 30

Programme: july 15

Proposal accepted in PT, EN, ES and FR.

Registration fees

  • Presenters

Speakers and co-authors *

PhD: 60€

Non-PhD: 20€

Non-participant co-authors: 10€ (if they wish to receive certificate of attendance)

*Co-authors being the speakers of shared papers. One person can only co-author one proposal.

  • Audience (including certificate of attendance and access to the event's social activities): 10€
  • Registration free of cost:

- speakers members of the organizing institutions

- students of the PhD in Food Heritage: Cultures and Identities (FLUC)

- students of the Master's in Food: Sources, Culture and Society (FLUC)

- graduate students in Gastronomy (IPC/EHTC)

More information here: https://cechfluc.wixsite.com/8cdlb/cfp