2017 Conference

Thank you to everyone who made the 2017 conference such a success!

The inaugural Intersections of Food, Fermentation, and Feminism conference, Leavening the Conversation, was held over the weekend of September 29 – October 1, 2017, at the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (IGSF) of McGill University (Montreal). This three day, bilingual event will brought together scholars and makers with the goal of integrating the thinking and doing of fermentation.

Over the 3 days, we hosted more than 155 participants from Canada, the United States, and Ireland.

Below you will find information regarding the schedule, the keynote speakers, the sponsors, and the caterers.

Conference Schedule
Friday, September 29th

1800 - 2000 Osler Archives vernissage: "Gendered Cultures of Beer and Cheese: the regulation of human and microbial bodies on the home and industrial scales," curated by Alex Ketchum (McGill University)

location: Osler Library of the History of Medicine. McIntyre Medical Building, 3rd floor - 3655 Promenade Sir William Osler

Saturday, September 30th

0930 - 1000 Welcome (3487 Peel)
1000 – 1100 Academic Panel: Ecologies of well-being and the politics of fermenting bodies  (3487 Peel)

Stephanie Maroney (UC Davis) on the theoretical possibilities and material practices of a queer crip fermentive politics; Patricia Mangan (Mount Holyoke College) on "Fermentation and Menstruation: A Case Study of China"; and Chelsea Leiper (University of Delaware) on "'Re-wilding' the Body in the Anthropocene and our Ecological Lives’ Work"

1110 – 1210 Keynote: Alissa Overend (MacEwan University) (3487 Peel)
“Does queer food make queer people”? Soy and the paradoxes of veganism as a queer food strategy

1210 - 1300 Lunch (3487 Peel)

1300 – 1400 Sourdough Workshop: embodied knowledge and relational affect, by Fold and Rise (Ireland)- (3487 Peel)

1410 – 1520 Academic Panel: Brewing an alternative: disrupting branded, gendered, (re)productive labor  (3475 Peel)

Grace Weitz (New York University) on graphic gendered packaging in Chicago brews; Laura Tait & Anna Sigrithur on “Homebrewing, Gender, Ideas of Wildness in Fermentation/Feminism”; Chloé Poitevin-DesRivières (Carleton University)on framing craft beer within feminist political economies; and Talia Ralph (McGill Law / Harvard Law) on “A Feminist Approach to Food Law”

1530 – 1640 Maker Panel: Gender in the Beer Industry (3475 Peel)

Jennifer Nadwodny (head brewer at Dieu de Ciel St. Jerome); Marisa Sandlin (Harpy Hour podcast about women in alcohol); Deborah Wood (international beer judge and author); and Laura Urtnowski (co-founder of Les Brasseurs du Nord/ Boreale)

1650- 1750 Keynote Stefanie Fishel (University of Alabama)  (3487 Peel)
Fermenting the State: Making Visible and Sustaining

1750 – 1945 Reception  (3487 Peel)

 Sunday, October 1st

0930- 1000 Welcome  (3487 Peel)

1000- 1110 Maker Panel: coffee, consumption, and colonialism  (3487 Peel)
Eleonore Schreiber; Beth Thompkin; Elise Boudreau Graham

1115 – 1215 Maker Panel: women in food/fermentation industries  (3487 Peel)
Dominique Dufour; Alice Vanasse; Leigh Kinch-Pedrosa

1215 – 1315  Lunch  (3487 Peel)

1315 – 1415 Academic Panel: Epistemology of food knowledge: spaces and vessels for contentious knowledge production  (3475 Peel)
Anna Nguyen (Concordia University) on labs as spaces for knowledge production; S.E. Nash (Kansas City Arts Institute) on "they/ them/ their: an aesthetic of bacteriocentricity"; and Ashley Welch and Sarah Williams
(Evergreen State College) on wombs, chocolate, and fermentation chambers

1430 – 1600 Keynote: Lauren Fournier (York University)  (3475 Peel)
"Fermenting Feminism: Approaching Contemporary Feminist Practices through Microbial Transformation"

1610-1710 Video Art Screening: Fermenting Feminism  (3475 Peel)

Rubina Martini, Fermentation: Reflection, 00:06:43
The Unstitute, Electrolyse, 00:10:37
Leila Nadir, Probiotics of the Kitchen, 00:08:00
WhiteFeather Hunter, Pissed (blóm + blóð), 00:08:00
Zoë Schneider, Adipose, 00:04:43
Nicki Green, Blessing for Fermentation, 00:03:00
Running time: approx. 44 minutes, curated by Lauren Fournier

We humbly acknowledge that this event takes place during Yom Kippur. In the spirit of inclusivity, we welcome our Jewish participants and colleagues to submit relevant thematic content to the journal (http://www.historicalcookingproject.com/2017/09/call-for-papers-special-issue-of.html) if they did not present at the conference. Else, we invite our colleagues to break their fast at our reception on Saturday evening.

We also want to acknowledge that McGill University sits on the unceded traditional territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka people. 

Our three keynote speakers for the 2017 conference were Dr. Stefanie Fishel, Dr. Alissa Overend, and Lauren Fournier.

Dr. Stefanie Fishel
Fermenting the State: Making Visible and Sustaining

Stefanie Fishel is an assistant professor in the Department of Gender and Race Studies specializing in political theory and global politics. She earned her doctorate from The Johns Hopkins University in 2011 with specializations in International Relations and Political Theory.  In 2005, she received her MA from the University of Victoria in Victoria, Canada. Her research focuses on human bodies and their metaphorical and material relationship to their political and cultural communities and the biosphere.  Her book, The Microbial State: Global Thriving and the Body Politic (2017), is available through the University of Minnesota Press. The book focuses on human bodies and their metaphorical and material relationship to the discipline and practice of global politics. It incorporates philosophical discussions of biopolitics and community into medical and scientific analysis to develop an embodied and material ethics of transnational, trans-species, and trans-biome collectivities and responsibility. Her research interests include the gendered and racialized experiences of violence; warfare, terrorism, and technology; theories of biopolitics and posthumanism; critical animal studies; and global environmental theory centering on climate change and the Anthropocene.


Dr. Alissa Overend
“Does queer food make queer people”? Soy and the paradoxes of veganism as a queer food strategy

Alissa Overend is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. Her teaching and research interests include critical approaches to health, illness, food, and nutrition; gender, sexuality, and intersectional inequality; contemporary social theory; and critical discourse analysis. Her work has appeared in Social Theory and Health (Overend, 2014); Food, Culture & Society (Overend, 2012); Women's Health and Urban Life (Overend 2011); Nursing Inquiry (Kunyk, Milner & Overend, 2016); in the Sage Encyclopedia on Food Issues (Overend, 2015); in an edited collection on Mothers and Food (Overend, 2016); and will appear forthcoming in an edited collection of Feminist Food Issues and in an edited collection on Seasonal Sociology. She is also currently working on a book project entitled “Food facts in a post-truth era”, where she aims not to resolve the contradictions of contemporary dietary advice, but instead to expand the critical lens of how the concept of “healthy eating” comes to be framed and contested in contemporary western culture, and to offer possibilities of how it might be re-imagined beyond singular, nutritionist terms.

Lauren Fournier
"Fermenting Feminism: Approaching Contemporary Feminist Practices through Microbial Transformation"

Lauren Fournier (b. 1989, Regina, Saskatchewan) is a writer, artist, curator, and fermenter currently based in Toronto. She is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at York University, where she is completing her dissertation on auto-theory as contemporary feminist practice. Lauren has worked as a frontline mental health and harm reduction worker, and her art, academic, and curatorial practices often take up questions of mental health and care from intersectional feminist frameworks. Her multi-disciplinary curatorial project Fermenting Feminism (2017) is taking place internationally, with iterations at Critical Distance in Toronto, Front/Space in Kansas City, Büro BDP in Berlin, and the Medical Museion in Copenhagen. Her work takes the form of publications, exhibitions, research-creation, and collaboration. Her work has appeared in Canadian Journal of Woman Studies, the Journal of Comparative Media Arts, Canadian Art, Magenta, Kapsula, Milkweed, and West Coast Line, and in the edited collections Desire Change: Contemporary Feminist Art in Canada (McGill-University Press 2017) and Feminist Food Studies (forthcoming, Women’s Press, 2018). 

This event would not be possible without the generous support from our sponsors. 
We would like to thank:


When planning this conference, we prioritized sourcing all of our food and drink from local producers. 

Thank you Dieu du Ciel! for your generous donation!
Dieu du Ciel!  has been a craft brewery since 1998.

Today, Dieu Du Ciel! is engaged more than ever in the local community as the demand for its products continues to rise both at home and abroad.
In 2015, the microbrewery in St-Jerome increased capacity from 9000 to 13000 hectoliters annually, in an effort to better satisfy a growing band of faithful converts.



Café Résonance is an Artist-Run Space in Montréal's Mile End, with live creative music seven nights a week, unique vegan meals, third wave coffee from Toronto's Pilot Coffee Roasters, and loose-leaf teas by the Camellia Sinensis Tea House.

All food is vegan and almost everything is made in-house. We have many products that are made without nuts or wheat gluten, though all food may contain traces.


With three brick and mortar locations and a coffee truck, Montreal-based Dispatch began in 2014 when Chrissy Durcak started a mobile cold-brew delivery service. "When you purchase our coffee you become the final link in the coffee supply chain. Our coffee has passed through many hands in making its way to you. We build relationships with farmers who grow remarkable coffee as well as exporters and importers who coordinate its movement. They are on the ground improving the quality of the product and the lives of the coffee growing communities involved.


Thank you for donating some of your wonderful product!



We thank Fromagerie Maître Corbeau for their generous donation of delicious cheeses! Merci beaucoup André!

Chloé Robillard is traveling catering company creating ingredient-forward dishes celebrating produce diversity and seasonality, sustainability and inventive culinary techniques internationally for small to large events. After multiple events in different locations, the best dishes were developed into a product line.

Ingredient Forward
100% Plant-Based
Fine Dining, Seasonal


Rigorous Sourcing
Specialized Food Suppliers
The ingredients are obtained from specialized food suppliers. By excelling in the farming of a smaller selection of crops, a specialized food supplier follows the seasons to produce quality ingredients.

Seasonal by Region
Seasonal refers to ingredients grown and harvested according to time of year and weather patterns. The seasonality of ingredients relates to the location it is grown - not the location it is consumed. A food is seasonal by region provided it is produced with knowledge of its cultural, botanical and environmental particularities.

Pleasure of Eating
The food combines balanced taste, unique ingredient combinations and sophisticated presentation. Palate friendly means the dishes are enticing and have distinct layers of flavors. The ingredient and technique focused approach to menu creation offers stimulating dining experiences by triggering discussions around sourcing, cooking and food systems in general.
Rigorous Sourcing + Innovative Culinary Techniques

Bettering and Innovation

The combination of well-sourced ingredients and skillful food preparation introduces strong variables of change in the food system.

Planet friendly means all food operations are designed with consideration for the future collective self. A good company is either reducing harm (example: cleaning an oil spill) and/or offering a better option (example: producing compostable paper cups). Innovation is an active and intelligent form of hope; hope that a better future is possible by inventing it.

For business inquiries and other questions: info@chloerobillard.com



Thank you Kaito for your donation!


Sotta Montreal is home style Japanese catering located in Mile End, Montreal. Sotta specializes in mostly organic and local food that is gluten-free, nut free and dairy free.

Contact at: sottamontreal@gmail.com


A neighbourhood butcher shop offering locally and respectfully raised meat, charcuterie and sandwiches, as well as dairy, eggs and more from small independent producers.

We work with farms that consist of land that is mostly green in the summer and snow covered in the winter and animals that graze and roam and live like they were meant too when it is nice out, and are provided with shelter that permits them to carry out their animalish behaviours and predilections when it’s cold out. When you come to our shop you can ask us whose pork or whose beef we have that week, and we will be able to tell you.



The Hive Café Solidarity Co-operative is a student-run café that provides healthy, accessible and affordable, food choices to students with a clear focus on sustainable, social, economic, and environmentally sound practices.

The Hive has locations on both campuses of Concordia University. As part of the food security program for students, the Loyola Hive also offers a free lunch program five days a week.

Mezz Hive
Hall-290 – 1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd.