Chatham News

Chatham to Host National Food Conference June 24-28, 2015

PITTSBURGH:  Chatham University and the Falk School of Sustainability will be hosting the “Bridging the Past, Cultivating the Future:  Exploring Sustainable Foodscapes” event from June 24-28th.  Chatham’s Shadyside campus and new, net zero Eden Hall Campus will serve as the locations for the Joint 2015 Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS) and the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS). The conference will involve three days of academic and practitioner presentations; tours of sustainable communities, food, and agriculture; a banquet; and many activities and workshops.

Alice Julier, Director of Chatham’s Food Studies Program, explains, “this year’s theme emphasizes the need to plan forward by looking backwards, by imagining and creating spaces where agricultural and culinary practices mesh with opportunities for environmental, social, cultural, and material sustenance.”  She adds, “taking a cue from Pittsburgh’s history and character, symbolized by its many bridges, the conference theme encourages a focus on the processes that help us explore across divisions, whether they shaped by disciplines, theories, methods, or activist priorities, material needs, cultural and agricultural histories, historical or modernist narratives.”

Adapting this theme to the academic side, the conference will involve a series of panel sessions, roundtables, and workshops. The event will also feature Michael Twitty, Afro-Caribbean culinary historian and agriculturalist of the diaspora.

On the food and social side, the event will be partnering with Parkhurst Dining and a variety of chefs around the community to collaborate on a multitude of dining events over the three days, as well as a closing progressive dinner. The dinner will feature eight food stations throughout the entire Eden Hall campus, showcasing the newly established Eden Hall campus and Falk School of Sustainability. All food will be locally sourced, with produce from Eden Hall and proteins from local farms. The banquet will showcase the high level of diversity within the Pittsburgh movement through Parkhurst’s collaboration with Conflict Kitchen.

For a full schedule and more information on the conference, please visit the conference site on the Falk School website.

About Chatham University
Now fully coed, Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, has over 2,100 students in the School of Health Sciences; the Falk School of Sustainability; and the School of Arts, Science and Business. Chatham is the alma mater of environmental icon Rachel Carson, and is recognized as a leader in the field of sustainability, having been named to Sierra magazine’s list of top 20 “cool schools” and mentioned in Forbes as one of the places “contributing to Pittsburgh’s transformation into a destination for green living.” Building on these accomplishments, Chatham opened in 2014 the world’s first fully sustainable campus in higher education, Eden Hall Campus. Consistently ranked as a best college by “U.S. News & World Report”, Chatham earned the highest ranking among western Pennsylvania institutions in the “Regional Universities – North” category for 2015. Learn more at