Call for Papers: Food and Weather

This multidisciplinary colloquium aims at filling a gap in research by studying the numerous interdependences between weather conditions and human food. It leans on two networks: that of the IEHCA, which works on the history and the cultures of food, and that dedicated to representations of weather (Perception of climate network).


Yet, both research fields of food and meteorology train an “interscience” (Parrochia) which requires a holistic approach of a “total phenomenon” (Mauss). The human beings who are biological and social, try to establish, by collective standards, the interaction between individuals and their environment, between the inside and the outside, in an aim of control, forecast and protection.


Studying relationships between food and meteorology responds, today in highly developed western countries, to a social search for harmony with “Nature”. What about other places? The colloquium will hand over to other cultures. The themes aim to be registered both in the present time and in a historical perspective. The topic will not be the history of food or the history of climate but crossed views. The consequences of the global warming on foodstuffs, as well as past and present scarcities and famines associated with exceptional weather conditions, do not constitute the heart of the subject, because these themes have been and are still the object of numerous colloquiums.


Four axes will be explored: perceptions, rhythms, discourses, signs.

– Perceptions
Do weather conditions determine where and what we eat and drink? Do diets respond to meteorological constraints? Does the temperature of food respond to the air temperature? Does the preparation of food change according to the weather? Do we eat and drink differently in unusual weather conditions?

– Rhythms
Do the meteorological and food temporalities echo to each other? Is there a seasonality of food? Is there an influence of the weather on the emergence of food cultures? Does the weather determine the ways of preservation and consumption of food? Are the weather types staged in the culinary practices? How does the gastronomy put in show food and weather?

– Discourses
How have the gastronomic and meteorological discourses got mixed with each other? Do food and meteorological terminologies respond to each other? What meteorological metaphors enrich the culinary literature? What rhetoric means are used to tell the short-lived of the weather and of eat and drink? How do cookbooks integrate the weather conditions? What functions do the culinary and meteorological references have in texts of any kinds? How do weather and meal scenes build an effect of reality in pieces of art?

– Signs
What systems of signs gather food and meteors? What food, culinary practices are summoned in rites associated to the weather? To what spiritual representations of the environment do they echo? Has progress in sciences of the atmosphere changed the supply? Does sharing of weather and food create an identity?


Proposals should be sent until 1st October 2013 to the following address: We would like to ask you to send a provisional title and an abstract of 400 words (in French, in German or in English), as well as your university address.


Karin Becker, IEHCA / Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Vincent Moriniaux, ENeC / Université Paris-Sorbonne
Martine Tabeaud, ENeC / Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Scientific Board:
Karin Becker, literature, Universität Münster
Trude Ehlert, philology, Universität Würzburg
Michael Gamper, literature, Universität Hannover
Allen Grieco, history, Villa I Tatti, Firenze
Sylvie Guichard Anguis, japanology, CNRS, Paris
Gunther Hirschfelder, ethnology, Universität Regensburg
Cornelia Lüdecke, meteorology, Deutsche Meteorologische Gesellschaft
Vincent Moriniaux, geography, Université Paris-Sorbonne
Jean-Robert Pitte, geography, Université Paris-Sorbonne
Martin de la Soudière, ethnology, Centre Edgar Morin, Paris
Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, history, Collège de France
Françoise Sabban, sinology, EHESS, Paris
Peter Scholliers, history, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Martine Tabeaud, geography, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Anouchka Vasak, literature, Réseau Perception du climat, EHESS, Paris


Conference languages will be French, German and English.

The publication is envisaged in the “MétéoS” series of the Éditions Hermann (Paris).