Welcome to the 13th Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics to take place in 2016 at the University of Porto, Portugal!
EurSAFE 2016 is a forum for discussion of ethical issues around food, including production, consumption, marketing, policy and health. The future perspective and the utopian tradition as a driving force and inspiration for changes in society are central to the congress. However, general contributions to agricultural, animal and food ethics are also welcome.
Food is at the centre of human existence. We eat every day, not only to satisfy our physical needs but also as part of cultural and social interaction. Food choices and markets shape the agricultural landscape and the cities we live in. Whereas what we choose to eat and feed our family is part of who we are, a growing number of actors compete to influence our food habits, through marketing strategies and nutritional advice. And ethical considerations are coupled with every choice over food – whether related to production, distribution, consumption, food waste, policy in general, marketing or advice.
Given the variety of implications the “food problem” entails, the construction of an inclusive society must redirect the concerns about food in the present to the imagination of future alternatives. The search for innovative solutions calls for multidisciplinary critical enquiry – and utopian thinking will be instrumental in that regard. Utopian thinking forces us, first of all, to reflect on what we would consider to be an ideal society and to set goals – even knowing that they will never be totally reached. Second, utopian thinking is informed by the awareness that societies work as systems, and that if we change one aspect, all the other aspects will have to be changed as well. Third, utopian thinking forces us to reflect on alternative forms of organization, either by recycling solutions of the past and putting them into a new context, or by devising new ones. Thinking about food through holistic and prospective utopian thinking, aiming at the construction of an inclusive society where a variety of aspects are considered – the nature of families and communities; gender and class relations; rural/urban relations; the health and well-being of humans, other animals and ecosystems; the political system; decision-making, amongst others –, such is the challenge EurSAFE sets to its delegates in 2016.
Much like how a shared meal strengthens social connections, the topic of food also bridges different academic disciplines. The 2016 EurSAFE congress welcomes proposals related to any aspect of food ethics and from scholars in all fields of research. In particular, the organizing committee aims to organize sessions focusing on:
- sustainability and environmental aspects of food production;
- animal welfare and animal ethics;
- ethics in nutrition and food policy;
- critical perspectives on the way food relates to the human experience, and the stories it tells of migration, assimilation, resistance and social dynamics;
- utopian holistic prospective scenarios;
- ways to combat food waste;
You are welcome to submit abstracts for oral or poster presentations. We welcome contributions on these topics as well as general topics on food, animal and agricultural ethics from a range of fields. We are also open to the organization of workshops, as satellites as well as within the congress – please contact the Organizing Committee to that effect.
Talking and thinking about food is very much part of the local culture in Porto, and we welcome you to join this tradition in September 2016!
Anna Olsson & Fátima Vieira
Address: Rua Alfredo Allen, 208 | 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
Phone: +351 220 408 800 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org