EVENT May 10
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Fermentation in Italy & Japan: Tradition and Innovation. A Symposium/ Workshop in Rome, Italy

Organization: Borromini Institute, Gustolab International and the Food Studies College of Japan
Categories: Comparative, Interdisciplinary, Popular Culture, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy
Event Date: 2023-05-10 to 2023-05-15 Abstract Due: 2022-10-01

Call for Papers and Fermentation Workshops below.

Fermentation in Italy & Japan: Tradition and Innovation

A Symposium/ Workshop in Rome, Italy

Academic Presentations and Workshops:  May 10 – 12, 2023 

Optional Practicum: May 13 – May 15, 2023


Organized by

Borromini Institute, Gustolab International and the Food Studies College of Japan


The Borromini Institute seeks presentations for its inaugural Symposium/Workshop to be held in the spring of 2023.  This Symposium, focusing on fermentation practices in Italy and Japan, extends Gustolab International’s  long-term interest in food studies to include microbial fermentation.  Recent advances in core sciences have provided us with new ways of understanding the roles of single-cell organisms in preserving food and, by drawing comparisons between Italy and Japan, we hope to build on the strengths of still viable fermentation communities in both of these cultural and environmental areas. It should be noted that while fermentation communities are experiencing a rebirth they have been placed at risk by the depopulation of rural areas in both Italy and Japan.


We seek presentations from experienced practitioners focusing on any fermentation craft as well as presentations from experts in related fields including the evolving social contexts of fermentation communities.   We hope to create new conversations linking microbiology with field studies (what are the similarities between climate and terrain in these areas and how do they shape microbiota fermentation communities?) as well as conversation between local craftsmen creating innovative products for new consumers.


We plan to publish presentations in our Occasional Papers Series. From the Fall of 2023 we also plan to present courses in our student and adult education programs in Italy and Japan on fermentation.   

The Borromini Institute is an affiliate of Gustolab International.  For information on Gustolab International and the Borromini Institute, see:  https://www.gustolab.com.


Symposium Details



Academic Presentations and Workshops(Rome, Italy):  Wednesday, May 10 – Friday May 12, 2023 

Optional Practicum  (visit to fermentation sites) at locations near Rome: Saturday, May 13 – Monday, May 15, 2023 


The Symposium will be headquartered at the Borromini Center in Rome's historic center and sessions will take place in historic venues nearby.

Covid Logistics 

At present our plans are for an in-person symposium.  Virtual options may become available as the symposium date approaches.


English will be the symposium language with some translation available into Japanese. Presentation notes or summaries will be requested from presenters and made available to participants.


Submission Process & Timeline

Presentations may be either for Academic Papers or Fermentation Workshops. We welcome presentations and workshops that deal with fermentation practices developed in either Italy or Japan as well as those that compare or contrast fermentation practices in these areas.   We also welcome presentations or workshops focusing on innovative fermentation practices and new products linked to traditions developed in either area.

Academic papers will be presented in English, 20 minutes in length, and will include 10-15 minutes for questions and answers.


Most workshops will last 20 – 30 minutes and will demonstrate one or more fermentation processes.  Recipes or other supporting documents are requested. As necessary, please include a facilities request with your abstract (e.g. equipment such as cookware, gas burners etc.).

Submission instructions

Please submit 1) an abstract of 250 words for Academic Papers or Fermentation Workshops  and 2) a bio (250 words) listing your major accomplishments and interests concerning fermentation to fermentationsymposium2023@gustolab.com.

Please note that we would like to include a summary of your presentation in Borromini Institutes new Occasional Papers series.  This could be a copy of the paper or, for workshop organizers, a powerpoint, perhaps with photos of the presentation.


October 1, 2022: Abstract and bio submissions due.  Please send abstracts as well as any questions to: fermentationsymposium2023@gustolab.com

December 15, 2022:  Papers reviewed by planning committee and presenters notified

January 3, 2023: Registration begins.


A registration fee of US$300, including opening and closing receptions and some organizing costs, will be charged. A list of reasonably priced accommodations and restaurants in Rome’s historic center will be available.  Costs for optional site visits will be announced at a later date. Financial Aid may be available for qualified applicants. 

For more information: please visit https://www.gustolab.com/ research/conferences-and-events/



Gustolab International