On Satuday, Mar. 10 Keep Food Legal executive director Baylen Linnekin will present his research on the great impact of social media on America's food scene as a panelist at the 2012 meeting of the Chesapeake American Studies Association (CHASA). Linnekin's talk is based on an undergraduate food studies course that he developed and will be teaching in fall 2012 in the American Studies Program at American University in Washington, DC, which is incidentally the site of this year's CHASA meeting.
Linnekin argues that the promises delivered by Web 2.0--perhaps best illustrated by the increasing ubiquity of social media tools like Twitter that allow users to sift, shape, and share news and ideas in ways meaningful to themselves and others--has helped usher in an entirely new era of foodways, which he calls Foodways 2.0. As Linnekin states in his CHASA topic proposal:
Foodways 2.0: Social Media, #FoodTrucks, Pop-Ups, & Underground Foods
Since 2008, social-media tools like Twitter have revolutionized many ways Americans buy and sell food. Social media has made possible mobile-food vending in areas (like parts of Washington, DC) where it was previously difficult or illegal. Social media also facilitates other legal food transactions (i.e., by helping draw customers to pop-up restaurants), makes possible illicit food transactions (i.e., by directing customers to underground restaurants, markets, and street-food vendors), and enhances the consumer’s eating experience (i.e., by fostering food-photography sharing tools like Foodspotting). In effect, social media has led to the creation of an entirely new type of foodways in America, a phenomenon I call “Foodways 2.0.” My research focuses on the most visible and popular example of Foodways 2.0—mobile food trucks—and explores the relationship between social media and pop-up restaurants, underground restaurants, underground markets, and other underground sellers.
For more information and to register for the CHASA conference, please go here. You can download a conference program here (PDF). For information about other upcoming events on Keep Food Legal's calendar--including panel presentations at University of Chicago Law School, New York University, and Harvard University Law School--please visit our Events page.