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Ames Library

This undated file photo shows Ames Library on the Illinois Wesleyan University campus in Bloomington.

BLOOMINGTON — In celebration of the history and diversity of food in the Hispanic transatlantic world, Illinois Wesleyan and Illinois State universities are collaborating to host an International Food Symposium on Thursday and Friday.

Titled “Thought for Food in the Luso-Hispanic Transatlantic,” the symposium is intended to celebrate and examine the complex cultural, social, environmental, political and economic interconnections that define food’s position within these regions. ("Luso" is derived from "Lusitania," the Roman name for Portugal.)

Embodying Illinois Wesleyan’s annual theme “Changing Climates,” the history-themed discussions will focus on effects of the Columbian Exchange, which was the historical transfer of food, animals, technologies and humans between the Americas and the Old World in the early modern era.

Thursday’s events run from 2 to 6:30 p.m. in The Ames Library’s Beckman Auditorium, 1 Ames Plaza, on Illinois Wesleyan’s Bloomington campus. Friday’s events run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Vrooman Center’s Kong Room on ISU's Normal campus. The Vrooman Center serves as the main entrance to Hewett and Manchester halls at 101 N. Fell Ave.

Thursday’s events include a panel titled “Early Modern Contact Zones,” a library exhibit, and a keynote address by University of Warwick history professor Rebecca Earle on “Spaniards, Cannibalism and the Eucharist in the New World.”

Friday’s events will feature three panels titled “From Colonialism to Independence,” “Edibles, Local and Global” and “Sustainable Practices for the Future.”

The symposium’s closing remarks will be delivered by Barbara Ketcham Wheaton, honorary curator of the Culinary Collection at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College of Harvard University.

The International Food Symposium is organized by Illinois Wesleyan's Byron S. Tucci professor of Hispanic studies Carolyn Nadeau and ISU associate professor of anthropology Kathryn Sampeck.

IWU’s sponsors include the Byron S. Tucci Endowed Lecture Series; the departments of Hispanic studies; international studies-Latin American studies and Western European studies; political science; and sociology and anthropology.

ISU’s sponsors include the Harold K. Sage Fund and the Illinois State University Foundation; the department of sociology and anthropology; the Office of International Studies and Programs; Latin American and Latino/a studies program; the department of languages and literatures; and the department of history.

For more information, visit blogs.iwu.edu/thoughtforfood2019.

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