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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.

Global jars

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 register@sharedtaste.nl (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…)

Early spices in Amsterdam

At the Asia in Amsterdam symposium which was held at the start of the exhibition Asia in Amsterdam” – which has moved from Amsterdam and will be on view in the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA (USA) from February 27, 2016- , the Shared Taste project delivered a paper presented by prof. Anne Gerritsen on early culinary exchange, entitled “Candied ginger and China root: Asian ingredients in the 17th century Dutch kitchen“.

To determine whether the arrival of Asian spices and other ‘exotic’ ingredients and condiments on VOC ships in the early 17th century indeed influenced foodways in the Netherlands, as is the general assumption, we decided to look for these (supposedly) unfamiliar ingredients in 16th and 17th century Dutch cookbooks, and track the changes over time.
(more…)

Symposium: Chinese export paintings

Invitation Chinese export paintings symposium

Syposium: Chinese export paintings: studies and interpretations
Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 13:00-17:30 hours
Venue: Museum Volkenkunde, Steenstraat 1, Leiden
You are most welcome to attend after registration: register @ sharedtaste.nl

View programme and speakers through this link [PDF]

Speakers from the museum world, art dealers, (art) historians, sinologists, anthropologists and other academics will come together in this interdisciplinary symposium, where the subject of Chinese export paintings will be viewed from varied angles and perspectives.

The symposium is is organized by Anne Gerritsen, Rosalien van der Poel and the Shared Taste project of Leiden University, and hosted by Museum Volkenkunde with generous support from the Hulsewé-Wazniewski Foundation at Leiden University.