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Call for papers: Shared Taste – food and exchange in Asia and Europe

The study of food has long been part of disciplines like history, sociology and anthropology. Scholars see the study of food and food practices as one way of shedding light on a particular place or cultural context, but food and foodstuffs also form a key part of mobility and exchange, as is well-known from the so-called ‘Columbian exchange’ in the Atlantic world. This conference focuses on the movement of food, crops and food practices, along with the migration of people and patterns of trade throughout Eurasia.

This conference invites scholars working across relevant disciplines to present papers that shed light on the Eurasian movement of crops, foodstuffs and food practices, and the role of food in the exchange between Asia and Europe. Eminent French food historian Françoise Sabban will hold the keynote to this conference.

The conference will be hosted by the Shared Taste project (established at the University of Leiden in 2013) and generously funded by the Kikkoman Foundation. For the duration of the period between 2013 and 2017, the Kikkoman Foundation has sponsored the Kikkoman Chair for the Study of Asia-Europe Intercultural Exchange with special attention to art, material culture and human dynamics. For more details, see www.sharedtaste.nl. Conference is scheduled for June 28, 29, 30, Leiden University, Netherlands.

Presentations will ideally focus on aspects of the role of food in the exchange between Asia and Europe. Possible topics may include:

  • Food, drink and cultural exchange between Asia and Europe, including patterns of productions and consumption
  • Food and the study of migration and diaspora
  • Food and materia medica
  • Food and trade in early modern history
  • The visual and material culture of food

To submit a proposal, please send a 300-word abstract and a one-page CV to conference@sharedtaste.nl no later than 15 January 2018. Successful papers will be selected on the basis of quality and fit with the larger themes of the conference.

All accommodation and subsistence costs will be covered for the duration of the conference, and we hope to be able to make substantial contributions towards the cost of all participants’ travel, although priority for financial support towards travel costs will be given to more junior applicants.

The closing date for proposals is 15 January 2018. Successful applicants will be notified by 1 February 2018. To appear on the final program, each selected speaker will submit a text of no more than 2,500 words in length by 11 June 2018.

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…)

Summer University in Tours: bursaries


photo credit: Flickr, Pug girl
EXTENDED DEADLINE: JUNE 29 Come join us at the Summer University on Food and Drink Studies in Tours, France, from 28 August to 4 September 2016. The summer school is organized for the 14th time by the François Rabelais University and the European Institute for the History and Cultures of Food (IEHCA).

For the first time this year, our ‘Shared Taste’ research project – together with the IEHCA – will offer a number of bursaries covering the full registration fee (400€), which covers  (more…)