Shared Taste

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Shared Taste Conference programme

Foreigners from the Five Nations Enjoying a Banquet

“Foreigners from the Five Nations Enjoying a Banquet”, Utagawa Yoshikazu, 1861

14th century banquets, British Empire influences on Asian food practices, ancient Indus foods, Jesuit tastes, Indian cheeses, pickles, Nyonya cooking and plenty of sweet things in China and Japan : this conference will give you a great taste of what modern scholars are working on in the field of Asian food.

Shared Taste Conference:
The Shared Taste Conference takes place on June 28, June 29 and June 30 and features scholars working across relevant disciplines to present papers on the Eurasian movement of crops, foodstuffs and food practices, and the role of food in the exchange between Asia and Europe.

Keynote and opening of conference on June 28 by eminent French food historian Françoise Sabban (Paris); special featured speaker on June 29 is Asian food scholar Cecilia Leong-Salobir (Wollongong).

Registration now open:
Please register for the conference through this link: register for the Shared Taste Conference
You can attend all 3 days, or pick your programme. Your ticket includes tea and coffee at the conference venue (Thu, Fri, Sat) and buffet lunch (Thu, Fri). There is a limited amount of discount tickets for students.

Shared Taste Conference dates:

  • Thursday June 28, 12:00-18:00 hrs
  • Friday June 29, 9:30-18:00 hrs
  • Saturday June 30, 9:30-12:00 hrs

Venue: Leiden University, PJ Veth building (Nonnensteeg 1-3, Leiden, entrance through Academy Building gate) room 1.01 [central staircase]

Shared Taste conference full programme: [PDF]
Shared Taste conference abstracts: [PDF]
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Hulsewé-Wazniewski Stichting Visiting Professor Lai Yu-chih 2018

Hulsewé-Wazniewski Stichting Visiting Professor
Lai Yu-chih 賴毓芝
Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Modern History,
Academia Sinica, Taiwan

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Summer School Asian Food

From today, Leiden will be the place for the very first ‘Summer School Asian Food: History, Anthropology, Sociology‘. This full week’s summer school, which runs from September 25 till September 29, is hosted by IIAS, the Leiden Asia Centre and the Shared Taste project at Leiden University.

Welcome all students to this week full of lectures, discussions, individual supervision, local field trips, and other events! We are really looking forward to working with you this week and sharing knowledge and experiences.

The general public is very welcome to attend the following public events :

More information on the Summer School Asian Food can be found on the website of IIAS.

Summer school on Asian Food

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 :

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).

AsiaYear exhibition

soy-sauce-bottlesLast 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…)

Symposium: Global Food History

Foreigners from the Five Nations Enjoying a Banquet

“Foreigners from the Five Nations Enjoying a Banquet”, Utagawa Yoshikazu, 1861

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…)

Hulsewe-Wazniewski Stichting visiting professor Winnie Wong, 2016

Hulsewé-Wazniewski Stichting
Visiting Professor
Winnie Won Yin Wong
黃韻然
Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and
History of Art, University of California,
Berkeley

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Reading Historic Cookbooks

Gibson House Museum, Boston: kitchen equipmentIn the beginning of June I had the great opportunity to participate in a seminar on historical cookbooks at the Schlesinger library at Harvard. The seminar, ‘Reading Historic Cookbooks: a Structured Approach’, was taught by 85-year old Barbara Ketcham Wheaton, food scholar and honorary curator of the library’s culinary collection.

Wheaton has dedicated her life to the analysis of thousands of cookbooks, and over the decades she put all the content found inside their recipes in her massive database called ‘the Cook’s Oracle’, which hopefully – after more conversion work and further programming – will become available online this summer or later this year.

We now are immersed in them, but cookbooks used to be much more rare. Increasingly available in digital collections to read, it is not easy to extract their meaning from them right away. One has to really dig into them to learn about the past. (more…)