The 22nd Symposium of Australian Gastronomy was celebrated in Parramatta, Australia, from Friday 16 to Monday 19 November 2018.

The Symposium of Australian Gastronomy brings together some of the most influential and creative food thinkers, writers, academics and industry professionals from Australia and beyond. For over 30 years, SAG has informed and inspired thinking and debate on Australian foodways, past, present and future.

The theme for 2018 is ‘Out of Place’.

‘Out of place’ speaks to locale, to the physical characteristics of climate, soil, hydrology, landforms, geology and so forth, as well as the cultural, social, economic and political forces that have shaped food production, distribution and consumption at the level of place.

‘Out of place’ can also relate to ‘not of a place’, to not belonging and to food and foodways that no longer have a place at our tables. Introduced, and perhaps inappropriate species, customs and tastes, or newcomers, foreigners, refugees, ‘misfits’ and marginalised communities, including people who struggle to find their place in society are also ‘out of place’.

This interpretation of ‘out of place’ is not however always determinedly negative. Some actively seek to be ‘out of place’, disagreeing with the mores of their society and so valuing out of place-ness and difference.

This is a theme wildly open to creative interpretation. On one hand ‘out of place’ relates to home and the everyday; to tradition and connection; to foods and practices that are accepted, comforting and comfortable. But the traditional can also be old-fashioned, oppressive, xenophobic, unimaginative, restrictive and predictable.

Alternatively, ‘out of place’ can conjure the exotic, the adventurous and challenging, and suggest opportunities, alternatives and possibilities along with thoughts of dislocation and disruption, rebellion, pollution, contamination and discomfort.

The Symposium will take place at the historically-significant Female Orphan School at Western Sydney University. The conference will run from Friday evening to Monday afternoon. Full details including a program can be viewed online.

In keeping with the tradition of the Symposium of Australian Gastronomy, please come with a spirit of participation, indulgence and hope.

More information

Get in touch with the Symposium committee: sagnsw22@gmail.com

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