Taste and Value

Wednesday 1 December 2021 | 4:00pm UK Time | Online via Zoom

Through an informal conversation, this session examines two different ways in which taste is and has been used to assign value to things. We’ll compare two strikingly different ways of using taste to determine value – the literal use of taste to determine the value of water, and the metaphorical use of taste to determine the value of art. To help us think through these issues, we’ll be helped by food studies expert Christy Spackman (Arizona State University) and art historian Charlotte Guichard (CNRS/ENS).


Christy Spackman is holds a joint appointment in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the Arts, Media and Engineering Department at Arizona State University. She has a doctorate in Food Studies from New York University.
Her work focuses on how the sensory experiences of making, consuming, and disposing of food influence and are influenced by 'technologies of taste,” her term for the oft-overlooked technologies and practices used to manage the sensory aspects of foods during production.

Charlotte Guichard is a Professor of History at the CNRS and director of the Doctoral School of Letters, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (ED540, ENS / PSL). A specialist in the 18th century in France, she works at the crossroads of art history, socio-cultural history and social sciences. Through the notions of expertise, authenticity and originality, she questions the constitution of the art worlds and their values ​​in modern Europe.

Attendance is free but spaces may be limited, so please email to reserve a space in the Zoom audience. Please be aware that we will take a recording of this event, which may include any questions and responses delivered by the audience. You are welcome to submit questions via the chat box at any time.