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Global jars

Shared Taste Events
28-30 June 2018: Conference: Shared Taste: food and exchange in Asia and Europe, keynote Françoise Sabban

25-29 Sept 2017: Summer School: Asian Food: History, Anthropology, Sociology, hosted by IIAS, LeidenAsiaCentre and Shared Taste

11 April 2017: Symposium: Global Jars, with Anna Grasskamp. Venue: Leiden University

28 Nov 2016: Symposium: Global Food History, joint collaboration of Leiden and Warwick. Venue: Leiden University

29 Nov 2016: Symposium: Chinese export paintings: studies and interpretations. At Volkenkunde Leiden, with support of Hulsewe-Wazniewski Foundation

29 Aug- 4 Sept 2016: IEHCA summer university in Tours, France, participating in the 2016 Summer University on Food and Drink Studies

22 April 2016: Lecture Françoise Sabban "The disputed issue of the origin of noodles", Sieboldhuis Leiden

9 November 2015: Asia in Amsterdam Symposium, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

1 May 2015: Dr. Ines Prodöhl (German Historical Institute, Washington DC), ''High diplomacy and a humble bean', University of Leiden

March 2015: 'ideas lunch', to share and exchange ideas on Asia foodways and food culture, Leiden

13 Feb 2015: ''De vroege wereldreizen van een theekopje''. [In Dutch] At Princessehof Leeuwarden, accompanying the exhibition 'Time for Tea'

12 Dec 2014: Inaugural lecture of 'Kikkoman Chair' professor Anne Gerritsen, Academiegebouw, Leiden University, 16:00 hrs

19 Sep 2014: Launch of website 'Shared Taste' and announcement of 'Shared Taste Lecture Series'. Venue: cafe 'Grote Beer', Rembrandtstraat, Leiden, 17:00 - 18:30 hrs.

Global Jars:
Asian Containers as (Trans)Cultural Enclosures

Tuesday April 11, 2017, 13:00-18:00 hours
Matthias de Vrieshof 3
Room 104 (Verbarium)
Leiden University

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).

All welcome! Please register at

Print-version of Global Jars programme

13:00-13:05 Introduction by Anne Gerritsen (Leiden University & University of Warwick)
13:05-13:35 Eva Ströber (former curator, Keramiekmuseum Princessehof)
The Collection of Jars at the Princessehof Museum, and the Various Uses of Jars in Trade and Magic
13:35-13:45 Pauline Lunsingh Scheurleer (former curator, Rijksmuseum)
Imported Pots in Ancient Java. A few examples
13:45-13:50 Response by Jiří Jákl (University of Queensland & International Institute for Asian Studies)
13:50-14:00 Q&A
14:00-14:30 John Johnston (Hong Kong Baptist University), Classification and Uses of Vietnamese Ceramic Jarlets
14:30-14:35 Response by William Southworth (Rijksmuseum)
14:35-14:45 Q&A
14:45-15:00 Coffee and tea break
15:00-15:30 Anne Gerritsen (Leiden University & University of Warwick), A Cizhou jar for storing food?
15:30-15:35 Response by Fan Lin (Leiden University)
15:35-15:45 Q&A
15:45-16:15 Alexandra van Dongen (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), Jan van Eyck’s Syrian Jar
16:15-16:20 Response by Irene Cieraad (Delft University of Technology)
16:20-16:30 Q&A
16:30-17:00 Wu Wen-ting (Pablo de Olavide University, Seville)
“Jiangjun Guan” and its trajectory in the global history (late 17th-19th century)
17:00-17:05 Response by Eline van van den Berg (Keramiekmuseum Princessehof)
17:05-17:15 Q&A
17:15-17:30 Concluding remarks by Anna Grasskamp (Hong Kong Baptist University & International Institute of Asian Studies)
17:30-18:00 Final Discussion

The event is generously sponsored by IIAS and Shared Taste

picture credit: Piet Mondriaan (1872-1944), Still Life with Gingerpot II, 1912, H91,5 cm W120 cm. Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag.

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Why this project?
Why 'Shared Taste'? There is so much to know on Asia, Europe and the role of food between us! We would like to start exploring texts, tastes and textures on this tantalizing subject, not only in the present day cultures, but also in the history of food, foodways and commodities.

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