Food is an essential aspect of cultural dynamics in any given society and plays a crucial role in processes of identity formation, on both the personal and the social level. A focus on migrant food allows the examination of cultural exchange in everyday life and helps to understand contemporary transnationality in post-migrant societies better. Restaurants and food stores selling ‘foreign’ products form a significant part of urban economies in Europe today. Many of these businesses are run by people with a minority background, while the clientele consists of both migrant and non-migrant local residents. These places are major instruments of culinary-cultural transformations – changes that can also be traced in the homes of both migrants and natives. We will study both forms of eating – in public as well as at home – in order to analyze the differences, but also the interdependencies between these spheres which also enables us to account for gendered ways of preparing, buying, selling and consuming food. This second CIERA workshop will bring together junior and senior scholars of migration and food culture from France and Germany and from various disciplinary backgrounds to explore how migrant food is transforming European (food) cultures. The objective will be to understand how migrant producers, retailers and consumers are taking part in these changes within the contexts of the countries’ very different (post)colonial and migration histories. Our interdisciplinary approach will be both comparative (German-French) and diachronic in order to firstly, overcome disciplinary and national frameworks of analysis and, secondly, to systematically account for historical developments and national path dependencies that still shape Europe today.
Université Leipzig, Leipzig
Virginie SILHOUETTE-DERCOURT (firstname.lastname@example.org)