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Foodways in China: New Scholarly Trajectories

International Conference

“Foodways in China: New Scholarly Trajectories”
May 9-10, 2013 – Gerlinger Lounge



Scholarship on Chinese foodways has grown at a steady rate over the last few decades, following the publication of two landmark works that outlined the importance of food in Chinese political, cultural, and social organization.

The international conference ‘Foodways in China’ will provide a venue to discuss research that has augmented the largely anthropological and historical contributions of those earlier works, and new work by scholars based in the Humanities and Social Sciences that engages insights from the emerging interdisciplinary field of Food Studies.

Preliminary Conference Program*
*subject to change

May 8, Wednesday, Willamette 110 

  • 6:30 pm – A Bite of China, public screening of Chinese documentary
  • Followed by commentary and discussion

May 9, Thursday, Gerlinger Hall, Alumni Lounge

  • 9:00 am – Coffee and Registration
  • 9:30 am – Introduction
  • 10:00 am – Panel I: Regionalism and Nostaliga

Food and Memory: Traumatic Nostalgia in the Chinese Hinterland, Piotr Gibas, College of Charleston

 Making Sense of the ex-Capital: Duck, Noodles and Curry in the Nanjing Decade, Beatrice Schraa, UC Berkeley

 A Taste of Authenticity: Soybeans and the Politics of Modern Chineseness in Republican China, Jia-Chen Fu, Case University

 Discussant: Francoise Sabban, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

  • 12:00 pm – Lunch Break
  • 1:30 pm – Panel II:  Historic Concepts of Food and Drink

Alcohol and Morals in Early China, Roel Sterckx, Cambridge University

The Art of Eating Whatever You Can: Environmental Statecraft and Famine Foodstuff Manuals in Late Imperial China, Tim Sedo, Concordia University

Contract in My Soup: Chinese Contract Formation and Ritual Eating and Drunkenness, Mary Szto, Hamline Law School

Discussant:  Ina Asim, University of Oregon

  • 3:30 pm – Afternoon Break
  • 4:00 pm – Ethnic Food, Ethnic Medicine, Judith Farquhar, University of Chicago

May 10, Friday, Gerlinger Hall, Alumni Lounge

  • 9:15 am – Panel III:  Agriculture and Political Economy

Rice Supplies and the Chinese-American partnership in Taiwan, 1950s Emily M. Hill, Queen’s University

Pork and Beans: Food Security Politics and the Reconfiguration of Diets and Agriculture in Post-Reform China, Mindi Schneider, Cornell University

Discussant:  Daniel Buck, University of Oregon

  • 10:45 am – Coffee break
  • 11:00 am – Panel IV: New Consumerisms

High Quality in an Urban Consumer Society: Rice, Governance, and Consumer Citizenship, Amy Zader, Rutgers University

Promoting a “Local Speciality”: Goat’s Milk Cheese (Rubing) in Shilin and Kunming, Jakob Klein, School of Oriental and Asian Studies

Discussant: Joanna Waley-Cohen, New York University

  • 12:30 pm – Lunch Break
  • 2:45 pm – Chinese Food Artifacts: Special Installation in Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art Tour by Ina Asim, University of Oregon
  • 4:00 pm – Concluding Remarks, Mareile Flitsch, University of Zürich

Co-sponsors include the UO Confucius Institute for Global China Studies, the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Geography, the Oregon Humanities Center, the National Resource Center for East Asian Studies, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, the Department of History, the Department of Anthropology, the Humanities Program, the Asian Studies Program, and the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures.