UMSL’s Center for Humanities Announces its 16th Annual ‘What is a City’ Conference

The University of Missouri–St. Louis’ Center for the Humanities invites participants to the 16th Annual What is a City? Conference. This year’s program, Food in the City, is October 21–22, 2010, at UMSL’s J.C. Penney Conference Center. Speakers from around the country and St. Louis will examine the place of food in cities through the lenses of history, public policy, social justice, social science and personal lives.


Conference presenters will discuss food production, distribution, availability, safety and enjoyment, looking at such cities as Chicago, Mexico City and St. Louis. Presenters have expansive knowledge in urban planning and development, health, ecology, farming, organic gardening, sociology, history, and of course, eating. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in discussion and explore urban-rural connections and relationships with food, food producers and preparers, immigrant and ethnic foods, and nature, as well as address inequities in access to healthy food.


“We’re pleased the theme we chose two years ago, ‘Food in the City,’ proves to be the country’s theme of the year – you can’t turn on the news or pick up a magazine without seeing mention of eating local, fast food vs. slow food, sustainable food, safety concerns, the obesity epidemic, or how to get fresh foods into school cafeterias and low-income neighborhoods,” said Karen Lucas, associate director for the Center for the Humanities. “Our multi-disciplinary approach gives the event wide appeal – whether you’re a teacher, parent, chef, health care provider, neighborhood activist, history student, gardener, policy maker or food lover, you’ll want to join the conversation.”


Presenters include Dartmouth Medical School Professor John Butterly who will discuss world hunger and chronic malnutrition, and local farmer Rusty Lee who will join two presenters from Old North St. Louis to talk about their new fresh food co-op. Additional topics include the slow food movement, emerging trends for local food systems and communities, and safe food in the city.


The conference is Thursday, October 21, from 8:45 a.m.–4:00 p.m., and Friday, October 22, from 8:45 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Registration is free and the event is open to the public, although the Center for the Humanities asks that registrants bring canned food for donations that will be delivered to St. Louis Food Outreach.


For more information, including the schedule of presenters, and to register for the event, please visit http://umslce.org/index.php/what-is-a-city or call (314) 516-5974.


About the University of Missouri–St. Louis Division of Continuing Education

The University of Missouri–St. Louis Division of Continuing Education provides courses, programs, conferences and events that fulfill degree completion, professional development and personal enrichment goals for the lifelong learner. For more information, please visit http://ce.umsl.edu.