Shared Taste? The global lives of food and material culture, 1500 to the present
This multi-facetted research project explores the emergence and development of shared tastes as food and material culture were exchanged throughout the world between 1500 and the present. Food, material culture and social life are inextricably connected, in today’s world as much as in the remote past.
From 1500 onwards, those connections gained global dimensions: food and material culture began to be exchanged (more…)
Asian Containers as (Trans)Cultural Enclosures
Tuesday April 11, 2017, 13:00-18:00 hours
Matthias de Vrieshof 3
Room 104 (Verbarium)
Vessels of all kinds have long been a favoured topic of research, but jars —vessels for storage— have rarely been studied separately. Even less attention has been paid to the connections between the jars themselves and what they contained. Various Chinese vessels found in European and North American collections are commonly referred to as “ginger jars.” The label is misleading, as it suggests a specific content, while such jars in fact could contain a variety of foreign as well as indigenous fillings or simply be left empty.
This workshop aims to bring together a group of scholars who will all examine jars in relation to their contents. Our approach will be transcultural, meaning that we explore not only exchanges of jars and their contents between Asia and the West but also across Eurasia, integrating aspects of inner-Asian exchanges, interactions between North and South, between the Chinese imperial court and the provinces, and between urban and rural.
The workshop is jointly organized by Anne Gerritsen (Leiden University & University of Warwick) and Anna Grasskamp (Hong Kong Baptist University & International Institute of Asian Studies).
To coincide with the opening of the Asian Library at Leiden University in September 2017, the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), the Leiden Asia Centre (LAC), and the Shared Taste Project at Leiden University, are hosting a Summer School devoted to the academic study of Asian Food, for MA/PhD students and early career scholars :
Summer School on Asian Food: History, Anthropology, Sociology
Leiden, Netherlands, 25-29 September 2017
This unique occasion will provide wide ranging coverage of this growing interdisciplinary field with contributions from international experts with at least one of whom each student will be guaranteed an individual consultation about their own work.
The aim of the Summer School is to highlight the wide range of resources for the academic study of Asian Food, available in Leiden and to present advanced methodological approaches and research techniques, together with the hands-on experience necessary for the analysis of historical documents and artefacts.
[deadline has passed, applications are closed ] More general information, information on application procedures, scholarships, accomodation and more can be found at the dedicated website on the Summer School Asian Food at IIAS :
- General information and background Summer school on Asian Food
- Application form (deadline March 20, 2017)
- Scholarships and financial support
- Organizers of the Summer School on Asian Food
The international experts who will contribute include: Anne Murcott (SOAS, University of London), Nir Avieli (Ben Gurion University, Israel), Katarzyna Cwiertka (Leiden University), and Anne Gerritsen (Warwick University / Leiden University).
Last Thursday, January 26, was the opening of the library Asia exhibition ‘A Buddha in the Backyard’, the kickoff to Leiden’s Asia Year 2017 – a joint programme by Leiden University Libraries, several Leiden museums and the city council to celebrate the merging of all of Leiden University’s Asian collections into a new ‘Asian Library’ at the existing UB Main Library at the Witte Singel. (more…)
Chinese export paintings: studies and interpretations
29 November 2016. Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden. A gathering of curators, art dealers, (art) historians, sinologists, anthropologists and a large audience of many other collectors, scholars, and interested listeners.
The topic: Chinese paintings, made for trade, that have languished for so long in Dutch and English collections without anyone paying them any attention.
Rosalien van der Poel, co-organizer of this symposium, welcomed everyone, and told us that a symposium on this topic had never been organised in the Netherlands before. Anne Gerritsen and Kitty Zijlmans, both of LUCAS, Leiden University chaired the discussions throughout the day. (more…)
On Tuesday morning 30 November 2016 researcher Rosalien van der Poel organised a special viewing of the collection of Chinese export paintings in the depot of Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden, just hours before her public PhD defense on the topic. We were with a group of 11 international experts, who had all travelled to Leiden to participate in the symposium on Chinese export paintings held at the museum the day before, and to be part of Van der Poel’s reading committee at her defense later in the afternoon. (more…)
Of all the subjects that global historians study, food is one of the most global. Without food, life is not sustainable, and this is true for humans, animals and plants, now as much as it was in the past. Yet the study of food history is by no means always studied in global context; often, the emphasis is on national or regional perspectives. This symposium focuses on the study of food across cultural, political and dietary boundaries.
At the joint Symposium on Global Food History by Leiden University and the Global History and Culture Center of Warwick University, global food historians and Asian food scholars will discuss how food and the global fit together as subjects of research. Various aspects, methods (more…)
It is a citrus fruit like no other: a thick, shiny skin in shades of green and yellow, with numerous elongated shapes pointing downwards, not unlike fingers with long, pointy nails. From its appearance alone, it is not difficult to imagine why it this citrus fruit is known as Buddha’s Hand Fruit (foshougan 佛手柑).
Foushougan, also known as busshukan in Japanese (Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis, or the fingered citron) is relatively rare in Europe. The photo to the left was taken by Nicholas Tomlan, Botanical Director at Chenonceau, one of the finest French chateaux along the Loire. (more…)
Winnie Won Yin Wong
Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and
History of Art, University of California,