Chris Buccafusco, a graduate student in the History of Culture program at the University of Chicago, is putting together a panel at the Annual Law, Culture and Humanities conference (to be held in March 2007 at Georgetown Law Center). His call for papers is here on August 1, 2007 and reproduced below. I would recommend his blog for "gustatory fun" as well. (Anyone who thought writing about law and film was a way out of the legal academic doldrums, consider writing about the regulation of wine classification and recipe copyrightability).
Call for Papers: Food, Law, and Culture Panel
Last year’s conference included a handful of “Law and Food” papers in different panels. They were all well-received, and the topics they addressed seem worthy of integration into a single panel. The panel’s goal will be to begin theorizing about the place(s) of food in the law by exploring both the different ways law treats food and the various cultural norms about food that lie behind this treatment. My work, for example, analyzes the copyrightability of recipes through the lenses of aesthetic philosophy and the cultural history of cooks and cooking.
Topics can include, but are not limited to:
Intellectual property rights in genetically modified foods
Hunger strikes and force-feeding prisoners
Food torts, e.g. exploding sodas, fingers in chili, coffee in the lap
Government regulation of food and alcohol
Dietary laws and regulations in different cultures
Trademark rights in appellations of origin
Farm subsidies and international trade
Linguistic classification of food, e.g. kosher, 1st Growths, Organic
Labeling, packaging, and branding
The deadline for submissions to the conference is October 15, 2006, so please respond well before then if you think you might be interested in joining the panel. Also, please circulate this to any colleagues that might be interested. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments.