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Integrative Approaches to Understanding
Subsistence and Society in the Past

March 3–4, 2017


In this conference, social and natural scientists grapple with the task of integrating multiple threads of material data involving food with the behaviors that generated them in past societies. There are few things more culturally connected than food – what we eat, how we prepare it, and in what contexts we enjoy it are all enveloped within the confines of traditional contexts and cosmology.  While taking a global perspective, the people involved in this conference use multiple approaches to determining what was eaten and integrating it with many other aspects of food and how food is central to the human existence.

Program & Schedule

The conference features three thematic sessions (Foodways that Divide, Foodways that Unite, and Foodways that Intercede) with 14 presentations from scholars working in the American Southeast, Mesoamerica, South America, Mediterranean, Near East, and China. In addition, Judith Knight (Editor at Large, University Press of Florida) will talk about “Behind the Pages of Publishing” on Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon features a “Professionalization Beyond Teaching” roundtable discussion. View the complete conference program.

The conference is open to all. No registration required.

Location & Directions

The conference will be held in the University Room at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Institute is located in Hyde Hall at 176 E. Franklin Street (see map). Nearby parking areas can be located on the Downtown Chapel Hill Parking map. The closest lots are the Wallace Parking Deck (No. 17) and the CVS Plaza Parking Deck (No. 14). On Saturday, please avoid the Morehead Planetarium Lot (No. 18) because it will be reserved for Game Day parking (UNC plays its fiercest rival Duke that day). Additional travel information is posted on the “Getting Here” section of the main UNC website.

Local Amenities

There are many nearby restaurants to visit for lunch and dinner. For more information, check out the dining section of the Downtown Chapel Hill website or download their guide and map to local businesses. If you are interested in exploring more of the area, visit the Chapel Hill and Orange County Visitors Bureau website.


This event is sponsored by the Research Laboratories of Archaeology, Food for All, The Graduate School, Department of Anthropology, the Center for the Study of the American South, and the Graduate and Professional Student Federation at UNC – Chapel Hill.


For more information, please contact Marissa Bruce at

To advertise this event, please view the conference flyer.