This panel focuses on different forms and relationships of food exclusion and inclusion, as they are imagined and expressed across contemporary Europe and beyond.
Europe is currently going through a period of turbulent politics, rising nationalisms and fracturing cosmopolitanism, and therefore rapidly changing social relationships. The issues of exclusion and inclusion become particularly salient at such a time. We would like to look at the current politics of inclusion and exclusion as they are imagined and experienced across Europe and beyond, by revisiting food as a means of powerful boundary making (e.g. Harris 1985, Douglas 1975, Appadurai 1981, 1988). With this panel we want to ask what can the study of food tell us about experiences of inclusion/exclusion, belonging/non-belonging and the social, structural and material processes that contribute to them at this moment in time? We welcome papers which engage with, but should not be limited to, state politics, class distinctions, foodways and family dynamics across Europe and beyond. The panel will bring different perspectives together by engaging with a series of questions; what role does food play in how these boundaries are imagined and expressed? What makes food such a powerful tool in the processes of inclusion and exclusion? Moving beyond a conception of food only as a symbol or ritual expression, how can the materiality and/or physiology of food consumption, production and provisioning be entangled and experienced as inclusion or exclusion, and how is this changing? Finally, by engaging with ethnographic studies of food, is it possible to move beyond thinking within the traditional divisions of inside/outside and inclusion/exclusion?