Cities constitute centers of human activities of various kind. This conference emphasizes how food is developed when people come together in cityscapes, including small trading places in early prehistory until the mega-cities of our time. It will be the first AMB conference organized by NAFS – a conference where Academics and scholars Meet Business people (AMB).

From the left: Claude Fischler, Magnus Nilsson and Carolyn Steel.
From the left: Claude Fischler, Magnus Nilsson and Carolyn Steel.

Keynote speakers

NAFS is also proud to present the three keynote speakers: Claude Fischler, professor in sociology, Carolyn Steel, author and architect and Magnus Nilsson, chef at Fäviken restaurant in Sweden.

Claude Fischler

Claude Fischler is a French sociologist and anthropologist,  a senior Investigator at the French National Science Center (CNRS), and a former director of the Interdisciplinary Institute for Contemporary Anthropology in Paris. He is a pioneer in the social scientific study of food and eating and has developed cross-disciplinary approaches to food cultures and their evolution, to eating behaviour, to medical and lay perceptions of the relation of food and health and to the perception of risk. He is the author of many influential books, such as L’Homnivore (1990), a synthesis of the social sciences’ perspective on food and nutrition; Manger (2008, with Estelle Masson), cross-cultural comparative studies on collective views of food and health in European and Western countries; and Selective Eating on The Rise, Meaning and Sense (2015) of «Personal Dietary Requirements ».

Magnus Nilsson

Magnus Nilsson is a chef developing and exploring the New Nordic Cuisine. His restaurant is located in the Swedish sub-alpine area of Jämtland and was in 2016 awarded to be the 41st best restaurant in the world with the motivation: “Unique Scandinavian cuisine that’s worth the pilgrimage”. His cookery book The Nordic Cook Book is an international success and for this work he spent three years researching food, eating and food traditions in the Nordic countries.

Carolyn Steel

Carolyn Steel is an architect, lecturer and writer with a vivid interest in understanding how people live their lives in the city. She is particularly interested in the way cities has evolved due to food networks. How food is included in the buildings of the city: how food is cooked and how the rubbish is taken care of.  In “Hungry City: How Food Shapes our Lives” (2013) she discusses how environmental and health issues surround the eating in the city. She describes how food is key to the 'urban paradox' at the core of civilization, and introduces the concept sitopia (foodplace) as a tool with which to address the dilemmas of 21st century dwelling.


Conference theme – Urban Food Studies

Due to economic, political and cultural power the city has always exerted a strong attraction on people. This is as true for the modern city of today as for its numerous prehistoric predecessors. The center arises when people in the periphery are drawn to it. The city and the countryside are usually considered the exact opposites of each other both as physical entities and as representations of ideas and values. At the same time they are engaged in a highly dynamic relationship where the conception of the city is constituted based upon what the countryside is not and vice versa.

The city is a highly unstable organization defined by a continuous flux of people, goods and ideas who meet and intersect at a particular geographical spot for longer or shorter periods of time. It is a dynamic place characterized by a vivid exchange of ideas and values which is also reflected in urban food culture. Traditionally values associated with city life has spread to the countryside. Today the exchange between the city and the countryside particularly when it comes to food and food practices is also the reversed. Rural life is increasingly being integrated into city life.

Cities were once a marginal phenomenon, today they are the dominant. Since 2008, more people live in the world's urban areas than in rural. Accordingly, urban values and ideals can be said to dominate the “zeitgeist”. And in midst of all this there is food because without constant supply of food the city cannot persist. Hence, the city is highly dependent on rural areas and production of food.


Meeting-place between academics and business representatives  

NAFS aims at encouraging the exchange of ideas between researchers from various academic disciplines. A second aim is to stimulate enriching conversations as well as future possible collaborations between the world of science and commerce.

Therefore representatives of the food industry and trade are also invited to submit papers. The conference will provide the opportunity to present a limited number of papers from the industry. The purpose of the papers is not to promote specific products but to present studies and findings that are relevant to the topic of the conference and contribute to the understanding of food, meals and eating practices. In return they will be discussed and investigated upon from the point of view of the world of science.



The conference is arranged in cooperation with the Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University.

Further information about the conference, location and abstract submission can be found  in the document at the bottom of this page.