New Zealand Symposium for Food History, Auckland, 25-27 November 2011, Call for Papers

The New Zealand Symposia for Food History are meetings devoted to the discussion of food history. They began in 2005 and are intended to promote greater understanding of New Zealand’s culinary heritage. The Symposia are intimate, friendly and encourage networking and discussion. They also always include good meals.


Registration is open to all with an interest in food history, production or literature.

Subjects of papers at past Symposia have included: church holiday camps, prisoners of war, restaurants, biographies of cook-book authors, hunting, barbecues, Maori culinary tradition, seafood recipes, nutritional advice, harvest festivals, microwaves, manuscript cook books, database management, Christmas dinners, home-economics teachers, catering for tourists, restaurant reviews, food banks.

Papers are sought on the theme of the 2011 Symposium: The 1920s

The 1920s was the decade the Pavlova cake first appeared, as well as the Caesar salad, Smith’s Crisps, Birdseye frozen food, and Vegemite. Dominion Breweries was founded in the twenties, Farmers department store opened its famous Auckland tearooms at the beginning of the decade, and rebuilt it in art-deco style at the end of the decade, and Aunt Daisy, New Zealand’s original celebrity cook, first appeared on the radio (as a singer).

The 1920s was a time when many ‘modern’ ideas were applied to food, for example in: nutrition, manufacture, marketing, state policy, education, agriculture, urbanism, restaurants, economics, science, publishing, kitchen appliances and design.

New Zealand gastronomy is a melting pot. Ethnic influences by the 1920s included the indigenous Maori, predominant British Isles, North American, Chinese, Indian, Lebanese, Jewish and Continental European.

The 1920s were bookended by the First World War and the Great Depression. Papers could be comparative studies of those periods, or indeed cover a larger chronological period that includes the 1920s.

New Zealand represents a microcosm of global food culture, especially for gastronomy and consumerism in the post-colonial Anglo world. Papers could cover any region in the world in comparison to New Zealand.

Papers must be no longer than 45 minutes in duration.

Abstracts, together with a short biography of the presenters (multiple presenters and roundtable discussions are welcome) should be submitted, by 30 September 2011, to: