Southern Foodways 2020 Symposium

Saturday, October 3, 2020 - 9:00am


Saturday, October 3, 10, 17, and 24, 2020
9 a.m. – Noon CT


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In 2020, the Southern Foodways Alliance looks forward, using food to imagine, construct, and interrogate the futures of the American South.

This year’s Symposium will look and feel different, because our moment requires it. Instead of staging talks and meals over one October weekend in Oxford, and on the campus of the University of Mississippi, the 23rd fall Symposium goes multi-media. They will broadcast filmed presentations and menus over four Saturdays in October, with digital and print companions, podcast amplification, and local gatherings to complement.

From a smart TV or laptop, see contemporary photography that reframes our image of the South, guided by teacher and essayist Ralph Eubanks. Visionary poet Ada Limón shares original verse invoking chocolate sunflowers, cast-iron cornbread, and scrapbook recipes heavy with intent. Journalist José Ralat maps the topography of Sur-Mex, the integrated cuisines of the American South and Mexico. Cookbook author Chandra Ram asks how a celebration of Indian and Southern food connections might move beyond hard questions to inspire real action. And more. Lots more.

Two chefs carry these themes from page to plate. Oscar Diaz, the James Beard semifinalist behind Raleigh restaurants Cortez and Jose and Sons, offers new ways to meld traditional Southern cooking with his family’s Mexican cuisine. You’ll never cook a kettle of Brunswick stew the same. As chef and owner of Virtue in Chicago, Erick Williams connects the South, the Black diaspora, and the future of national foodways. Think Tabasco-brined Cornish game hen and cucumber salad with biscuit croutons

For more information or to register visit 

Symposium illustration by Lauren Beltramo.


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