is a research project hosted by ILCML and CETAPS and funded by FCT / COMPETE which offers a multi-disciplinary approach to the discussion about future conditions of food production and consumption through holistic and prospective utopian thinking. The Project comprises three main fields of action which are united by a unique methodological approach.
The Institute for Comparative Literature Margarida Losa (ILC) is a R&D Unit hosted by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto, currently counting with a team of 18 research members and 73 collaborators. ILC focuses on scientific areas such as Literary Studies, Artistic Studies, Philosophy and Sociology, promoting a multidisciplinary approach to research at the crossroads of Comparative Literature, Poetics and Literary Theory, Interartistic Studies, Gender Studies and Cultural Studies. Its strategic, transversal study program Literature and Frontiers of Knowledge: Politics of Inclusion (UID/ELT/00500/2013), received the maximum score in the external evolution process of Portuguese R&D Units, coordinated by the Organization for Science and Technology (FCT: Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia). In 2015, the research project Utopia, Food and the Future: Utopian Thinking and the Construction of Inclusive Societies – a contribution from the Humanities (PTDC/CPC-ELT/5676/2014), hosted by ILC and CETAPS – with the collaboration of the Portuguese Nutrition Association and the Directorate-General of Health (Direção Geral de Saúde and of Associação Portuguesa de Nutricionistas), was approved for a period of 3 years.
CETAPS (Centre for English, Translation, and Anglo-Portuguese Studies) is a dynamic research unit that brings together 33 researchers and 59 senior and young collaborators predominantly from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the New University of Lisbon, but also from other Portuguese institutions of higher education. CETAPS has 6 main research groups. It publishes 5 electronic journals and runs 5 databases. Over the past 5 years, its members have organized 93 conferences, symposia and seminars, presented 508 papers at national and international conferences, edited/published 92 books and book chapters, and published 260 papers in national and international journals. It has also been involved in MA and PhD programmes, both national and international (eg. Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate TEEME – Text & Event in Early Modern Europe and Erasmus Mundus Masters Crossways in Cultural Narratives), and has consistently invested in a considerable number of high impact outreach activities. It also offers training programmes and scholarships for young researchers. CETAPS’ Digital Laboratory is the result of the R&D+i unit’s commitment to the development of the Digital Humanities.
The Directorate-General for Health (DGS) is a public body of the Ministry of Health and a reference for people who operate in the healthcare field. Its main mission is: to issue clinical and organizational guidelines; to guide and develop programmes for Public health, improved healthcare and organizational quality management; to coordinate and enssure national epidemiological surveillance; to prepare and publish health statistics; to support the activities of the National Public Health Officer; and to coordinate the Public Health Emergencies System, among others. DGS is focused on citizens’ interests, in cooperation with other public bodies, particularly those accountable to the Ministry of Health. Acknowledging that health problems are frequently caused by food issues, the DGS has created the Platform Against Obesity (Plataforma Contra a Obesidade), coordinated by one of the members of the Alimentopia: Utopian Foodways project. The project counts on granting its support for the promotion of PAN-Utopia in schools and for the dissemination of results to the general public.
The creation of the Nutritionists Professional Association (Ordem dos Nutricionistas), in 2011, resulted from a steady effort on the part of the Portuguese Association of Nutritionists to evince the relevance of the profession with regard to health, economy and societal values. Nowadays, its mission is to regulate and supervise the access to the profession and its practise through the definition of technical and ethical standards, ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory standards and exercising disciplinary authority over its members, as part of an independent disciplinary system. As a participating institution, the NPA is fully tuned to the Pj’s objectives and will facilitate the promotion of utopian thinking to the professional community (by organizing seminars and workshops) and to the high schools.
We are particularly grateful to the National Library of Portugal for giving us access to publications pertinent to our study, namely to O Vegetariano.