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Food & Drink Cultures

This Food GRP priority theme supports researchers interested in the cultural dimensions of eating and drinking to foster collaborative & innovative approaches.

We are particularly committed to initiatives relating to the Arts & Humanities (broadly defined) and those connecting university researchers with a wider public.

Past highlights include a 'Food and Drink Cultures through the Ages' webinar & leading on the FEAST! theme for Coventry UK City of Culture.

To obtain further information or discuss project ideas please get in touch with the thematic lead Beat Kümin.

Sugar: a substance of kinship and relatedness?

Hybrid event led by Imogen Bevan (Social Anthropology, Edinburgh) on Wednesday 8 June 2022

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Sugar is viewed by the World Health Organisation as a dangerous substance, one at the heart of a contemporary global nutrition crisis. Parents in Britain are under increasing pressure to reduce their children’s sugar consumption, in order to produce health and protect their kin from future chronic disease and dental decay. Against this backdrop of widespread messages about sugar’s deleterious effects on health, this paper asked: What is the role of sugar in creating and maintaining kinship ties and relationality? Drawing on 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork in primary schools and families’ homes in an Edinburgh neighbourhood, Imogen Bevan explored the moral ambivalence towards sugar that permeates people’s consumption practices.

Further details here
History Group Logo

Food and Drink History Reading Group

This reading group is organised and run by postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the History Department at Warwick. One session is held each month during term time. Each session is lead by a different member of the group, discussing important texts about the history of food. We welcome students and scholars from different disciplines to join in our discussions.

NEXT SOCIAL SESSION: Monday 4 July 2022 in FAB 6.04 (contact


  • Wed 8 June 2022, 4-6 pm (FAB 6.02): Imogen Bevan (Edinburgh) introduced Janet Carter, 'Feeding, Personhood, and Relatedness among Malays' (1995)

  • University-wide discussion of John Hayes' 'Influence of Sensation and Liking' (24 November 2021).
  • Warwick Food History Conference 2021 (17-18 June 2021): '"You Are What You Eat": Food and Identity From The Middle Ages to the Modern', featured 23 papers on a wide range of issues and a keynote by Jeffrey Pilcher on Pilsner beer - for further information go to the conference website.



As part of the university's 'Resonate Festival' to mark Coventry City of Culture, we led on a series of events, videos and research features between November 2021 and April 2022 - these included:

  • A 'Food & Drink Extravaganza' at the Resonate Campus Festival (video impressions), featuring a Roman Activity Day, FEAST Dinner Party and 'Rethinking Hospitality' panel debate (Wed 20 April 2022, Faculty of Arts Building)
  • A Beer Festival & Feast Food Fair in association with Berkswell Church & Warwick's My-Parish research network - building on medieval 'church ales', St John the Baptist hosted a weekend of delicacies & reflections on the relationship between food and community (25-26 March 2022 - documentation here)
  • A 'Feast Food Festival' in partnership with the region's hospitality sector and artisans - showcasing the history, preparation and meanings of dishes and beverages used for celebrations by different cultures in Coventry and Warwickshire (November - December 2021)

For full details please visit our 'Feast' website.

Food on the Move Logo

Friday 9 July 2021, 5-7 pm

This 'Food Cultures' public online event - co-organized by food scholars Eleanor Barnett, Beat Kümin & Katrina Moseley - brought together academics, industry representatives, and members of the general public to discuss the ways in which fast-moving food chains have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Since we spent the best part of a year in our homes, the demand for ‘click-to-buy’ food delivery services has never been greater. We are only starting to think about the huge impact of this behavioural change on the food industry, society and culture more broadly.

The virtual meeting consisted of academic talks and a panel discussion, with members of the general public invited to reflect on their food experiences with reference to the theme of ‘food on the move’, both in an online survey and during the discussion itself - Event Programme.

We are planning a 2022 follow-up event to assess the longer-term repercussions of the pandemic on our food & drink habits.