Deb Wain is a current PhD candidate at Deakin University. Her thesis, Stirring the Brew: The Power of Women, Stories and Food, is due for completion in 2016. Deb reflects on her candidature and presentation at a 2013 conference in Austin, Texas:
In August 2012, I began my PhD under the enthusiastic and immensely supportive supervision of Cassandra Atherton. As a study, my project is interdisciplinary in nature encompassing ideas familiar to creative writing; anthropology; food studies; feminism and women’s studies; sociology; ethnography; gastronomy; and gender theory, and I was quickly drawn to the thought of presenting a paper at the Third International Food Studies Conference to be held in Austin, Texas.
Although not a food studies project, my study incorporates and relies heavily on ideas developed in this discipline area. Given that my creative practice of short story writing is exploring the roles of women, food and culture within migrant groups, I felt that this interdisciplinary conference and some aspects of my research might be a good fit.
My participation in the conference, generously supported by Deakin University, enabled me to make contact with a number of academics working within a field related to my own as well as offering me the chance to present and discuss the first of the ideas that had resulted from my own research to date.