Decolonizing Foodways

Alumni House
October 01, 2015


The Food, Identity and Representation Working Group at UC Berkeley and University of the Pacific Food Studies program invite you to participate in an evening of critical thinking and tasting at the Decolonizing Foodways Symposium. Understanding food as a site for de/colonial struggles and strategies in the ways it is produced, consumed, circulated, prepared, and represented within a transnational advanced capitalist economy, this interactive workshop grapples with what it means to liberate our diets from colonial relationships of production and consumption both in theory and in practice. Building off the work of scholar/activists Luz Calvo and Catriona Esquibel, authors of “Decolonize Your Diet: A Manifesto,” we explore and continue to question what the process of decolonizing foodways means. We ask, for example: How do we increase the vitality of oppressed and indigenous peoples, maintain the integrity of our ancestral traditions, and embrace food and ways of cooking/eating that resist subjugation and instead nourish our palates, bodies, and lives? How do we make sense of the different realities of lived food experiences across time and space, taking into account the influences of power and privilege? How might we think through the intersections of diaspora, colonialism, assimilation, generational differences, and food gentrification/cultural appropriation? Utilizing an intersectional, audience-participatory, and multi-sensory approach, this symposium will include a panel of activists and scholars and a freshly-prepared meal by local chefs that cooks up decolonizing possibilities.

The Decolonizing Foodways Symposium is a project of the “Food, Identity, and Representation Working Group” at UC Berkeley, a consortium of cross-disciplinary scholars joined together to learn, share, and create public events around the intersection of culture, race, gender, class, sexuality, and colonialism in food systems studies.

Cosponsored by the Berkeley Food Institute; Department of Sociology; Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management; Department of Geography; Department of Ethnic Studies; Department of Gender and Women’s Studies; Townsend Center for the Humanities; Center for Research on Social Change; Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues; Student Environmental Resource Center; Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society; Berkeley Student Food Collective; Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence; and University of the Pacific Food Studies Program.

This event is free and open to the public, however registration is required. Register here.