Call For Conference Papers

The editors of the graduate student journal focus on German Studies in conjunction with the Graduate Student Association of the Department of German Studies at the University of Cincinnati organize and host an annual FOCUS Graduate Student Conference:


Call for Papers and Projects

26th Annual FOCUS Graduate Student Conference at the University of Cincinnati

Department of German Studies

October 14th – October 15th, 2022


Talking Food, Thinking Food - Coming Together at the Table

Keynote Speaker: TBA

Food, eating, and consumption are ubiquitous: we buy food, we eat it, we prepare it, we share meals, we have hunger, we starve, we talk, think, and philosophize about it. As a result, research on food has flourished over the last decade in all areas of the humanities and social sciences. 

Food as a symbolic marker of identity, the meaning of food and meals, the conversation at the dinner table in literature, as well as discussions about meat consumption and sustainability are constantly debated and negotiated, reacting to new concerns frequently. The meaning of the term food changes through times and with every approach and scholar. We hope to experience this variety of topics at next year’s conference. 

After almost two years of working remotely, this conference seeks to bring together graduate students from the humanities and social sciences to discuss food in all its scope, to rebuild community, and forge new ties. We’d like to discuss the cultural, environmental, and political approaches to food within a global context beyond German-speaking countries. Questions regarding food supply, patterns of eating, and additional aspects concerning food culture and foodways will be investigated during the conference.

The 26th Annual FOCUS Graduate Student Conference strives to address food issues such as production and consumption in the context of social and cultural processes, the social meaning(s) and importance of food, artistic, cultural, literary depiction of food and food consumption, as well as the impact of cultural factors on nutrition, and the exchange of food habits in a globalized world. Themes may include but are not limited to: 


  • Systems of exclusion, oppression, and power that marginalize food histories and practices on the basis of race, gender, sex, religion.
  • Cultural and historical entanglements of food with social justice.
  • Production, distribution, and consumption of food.
  • Representations of food in literature, film, theater, television, and advertising.
  • Cookbooks as a medium of trans-cultural exchange.
  • Food as cultural history.
  • Food in language and culture teaching.
  • Food-Design.
  • The intersection of food, media, and politics.
  • Food-blogs and food-porn.

While we are anticipating and encouraging academic discussion fostered by conventional conference presentations, we would also like to invite creative works that fit the overall frame of the conference (e.g. concept-grounded artistic approaches). We welcome submissions in English from all disciplines of the humanities and social sciences. Current Graduate Students are invited to submit abstracts or project descriptions (250-300 words in length), accompanied by a short bio, to Barbara Besendorfer at by March 1st, 2022. Please use the subject “Focus 26”.