Friday, December 6, 2019: Koessler Room of the Michigan League
911 N. University, Ann Arbor, MI
9:00am - 5:00 pm
Millions outside of China enjoy Chinese food each day. Even though they might all go out for a “Chinese” meal, there is little uniformity to what arrives on their plates, in their bowls, or at the tips of their chopsticks or forks. In Germany, “Chinese” food could mean ribs in hoisin sauce, served with pickled cucumbers; in India, deep-fried vegan cauliflower; and in South Korea, sweet brown sauce on a plate of beef noodles. What do these diverse examples tell about the nature of Chinese food? How does a global perspective deepen our understanding of culinary authenticity and heritage? These questions will be the focus of Global Chinese Food. The conference will bring scholars of Asian American, African, Chinese Studies, Latin American, and Japanese into a wide-ranging and exciting conversation. The conference is free and open to the public. Organized by Professor Miranda Brown, Asian Languages and Cultures.
Friday, December 6, 2019
Michigan League, Koessler Room (3rd Floor)
911 N. University, Ann Arbor
8:45: Greetings and Opening Remarks: Miranda Brown (University of Michigan)
Panel 1: How Chinese or Foodlike was Food in Medieval China (9:00-10:00)
Panel Chair and Commentator: Amanda Respess (University of Michigan)
E.A. Anderson, “Silk and Milk: The Medieval Silk Routes and Food in China” (UC Riverside)
Yan Liang, “Mung Bean Starch Jelly in Traditional Chinese Dietetics and Gastronomy,” (Grand Valley State)
Panel 2: Contact and Exchange in an Early Modern Age (10:00-11:00)
Panel Chair and Commentator: Eric Rath (University of Kansas)
Brian Dott, “Battle of the Peppers: How the Chili Displaced Sichuan Pepper.” (Whitman College)
Jeffrey Pilcher, ““From the Manila Galleon to Pacific Fusion: Chinese
Food in Latin America.” (University of Toronto)
Coffee Break (11:00-11:15)
Panel 3: Moveable Feasts, 18th and 19th centuries (11:15-12:15)
Panel Chair and Commentator: Yanqiu Zheng (Misericordia University)
Heather Lee, “"The Chinese Banquet: Migrant Politics in the Tide of Exclusion, 1877-1882" (NYU Shanghai)
May Bo Ching, “What might Chinese Chefs have Cooked for their Foreign Masters in the Port-Cities in the 18th and 19th Centuries? ---- Hints from Contemporary Language Learning Kits and Recipes” (City University, Hong Kong)
Panel 4: Layered Exchanges (1:15-2:15)
Panel Chair and Commentator: Ian Shin (University of Michigan)
Michelle King, “Food Memories and Migration: Dislocation and Yearning in Taiwan's Postwar Generation” (UNC-Chapel Hill)
Romina Delmonte, “Chifa Restaurants in Buenos Aires. Transcultural Mobilities and Circulations in a Latin American Context.” (Buenos Aires University)
Panel 5: Tradition and Identity in a Global Age (2:15-3:15)
Panel Chair and Commentator: Sean Chen
Q. Edward Wang, “The Global Appeal of Pungency: Szechuan (Sichuan) Food as Chinese Food.” (Rowan University)
Jin Feng, “Apricot Jam and Tomato Paste: The Local, National, and Global in the Imperial Banquet of Suzhou.” (Grinnell College)
Coffee break (3:15-3:30)
Panel 6: Modern Migrations & Dislocations (3:30-4:30)
Panel Chair and Commentator: Jessica Walker (University of Michigan)
Tiffany Liu, “ Who are the Chinese? Eating Chinese in South Africa” (UC Santa Barbara)
Ivonne Campos Rico, “Cafés de chinos: Mexican Chinese culinary culture in Mexico City,” (El Colegio de Tlaxcala)
Panel 7: How to Think about Chinese Food (4:30-5:30)
Panel Chair and Commentator: Kaitland Byrd (University of Michigan and Virgina Tech)
Miranda Brown, “Foreign Foods in Traditional Cookbooks” (University of Michigan)
Yong Chen, “The Invention of the Chinese American Cuisine” (UC Irvine)
“Silk and Milk: The Medieval Silk Routes and Food in China.”
Gene Anderson is Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Riverside. He is a pioneering scholar of Chinese food studies and the author of the classic, The Food of China(Yale University Press, 1988) and several monumental works. These include: Food and Environment in Early and Medieval China (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), and with Paul Buell, A Soup for the Qan: Chinese Dietary Medicine of the Mongol Era as Seen in Hu Ssu-hui’s “Yin-shan Cheng-yao”(Kegan Paul International, 2010).
Miranda Brown is a Professor of Chinese Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures who has taught Chinese history at the University of Michigan since 2002. In old age, she has discovered her true passion: Chinese food. She is now writing a book on the history of dairy in premodern China. In her free time, she chronicles her efforts to re-imagine Chinese food with lots of milk in her blog and on Twitter (@Dong_Muda). She is now writing a book on the history of dairy in China before the twentieth century, a topic that has received scant attention in the West. The first installment of this project, which examines the cheeses from the Shanghai region in the sixteenth century, appeared in Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies (2019). This project grew out of her previous work in the history of medicine, her general interest in recipes, and her longstanding fascination with the connections between foodways and environment.
“The Invention of the Chinese American Cuisine.”
Yong Chen is Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine, where he also serves as Associate Dean in the School of Humanities. He is the author of Chinese San Francisco: A Transnational Community, 1850-1943 and Chop Suey, USA: The Story of Chinese Food in America, which received honorable mention in the 2015 PROSE Awards in the category of American History.
He co-curated “‘Have You Eaten Yet?’: The Chinese Restaurant in America” in Atwater Kent Museum, Philadelphia, and the Museum of Chinese in the Americas, New York City. He has been frequently called upon by the print, online, broadcast, and TV media to comment on issues concerning Chinese/Asian Americans and U.S.-China relations. He serves as advisor for the exhibit “CHOA: Making the Chinese American Restaurant” in the Museum of food and Drink in Brooklyn, New York (https://www.mofad.org/chowexhibition)
“What Might Chinese Chefs Have Cooked for Their Foreign Masters in the Port-Cities in the 18th and 19th Centuries? ---- Hints from Contemporary Language Learning Kits and Recipes.”
May Bo Ching is currently a Professor of History at City University of Hong Kong. Her major research interest is the social and cultural history of modern China. Recently she has been examining how the regional culture of South China took shape in a trans-regional context in terms of sound, colour and tastes, and has published a series of Chinese and English articles on these topics.
"Chifa restaurants in Buenos Aires. Transcultural Mobilities and Circulations in a Latin American Context."
Romina Delmonte is a PhD candidate in Social Sciences at Buenos Aires University. She holds a BA in Sociology and a MA in Social Sciences Research at the same University. Her research focuses on the role of food in the construction of Asian immigrant identities in a Latin American context. More specifically, she studies the practices of food production and consumption among Korean and Chinese migrant communities in Buenos Aires city.
“Battle of the Peppers: How the Chili Displaced Sichuan Pepper.”
Brian Dott is Associate Professor of Asian History at Whitman College, where he has taught since 2002. He earned his MA in Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan and his PhD at the University of Pittsburgh. He is an expert in the cultural history of late imperial China and the author of two books, Identity Reflections: Pilgrimages to Mount Tai in Late Imperial China (Harvard Asia Center, 2004) and The Chile Pepper in China: A Cultural Biography (Columbia University Press, forthcoming 2020).
Jin Feng 馮進
“Apricot Jam and Tomato Paste: The Local, National, and Global in the Imperial Banquet of Suzhou.”
Feng received her PhD in Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is Professor of Chinese and the Orville and Mary Patterson Routt Professor of Literature at Grinnell College. She is the author of The New Woman in Early Twentieth-Century Chinese Fiction(Purdue University Press, 2004), The Making of a Family Saga (SUNY Press, 2009), Romancing the Internet (Brill, 2013), and Tasting Paradise on Earth: Jiangnan Foodways (University of Washington Press, 2019), in addition to other publications in both English and Chinese.
“Food Memories and Migration: Dislocation and Yearning in Taiwan's Postwar Generation.”
Michelle T. King is an Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She specializes in modern Chinese gender history and food history. She is currently working on a book about Fu Pei-mei (1931-2004), Taiwan’s celebrated postwar cookbook author and television celebrity. In this social and cultural history, Fu’s career serves as a window on changes in Taiwan’s postwar society, including the development of foodways as a critical national political project, shifting gender roles, and the transnational construction of culinary identity through overseas migration. She is also the author of Between Birth and Death: Female Infanticide in Nineteenth-Century China (Stanford University Press, 2014), and has published on a range of other topics, including translation in colonial Singapore and birth control in Republican China.
"The Chinese Banquet: Migrant Politics in the Tide of Exclusion, 1877-1882."
Heather Ruth Lee is an Assistant Professor of History at NYU Shanghai. As a scholar and educator, she wrestles with the importance of legal immigration status—the bright line separating citizens from both documented and undocumented migrants—to the history of race and ethnicity in the United States. Her first book, The Business of Becoming Citizens: Chinese Immigrants, Cuisine, and Restaurants from Exclusion to Inclusion in the United States, 1870-1943, tells the history of Chinese restaurants against the backdrop of intense racial discrimination and civic exclusion. Alongside the book, Professor Lee has been working on the “Chinese Restaurant Database Project” (www.eatingglobally.com), an original data source on historical Chinese business operations, migration strategies and demographic information.
“Mung Bean Starch Jelly in Traditional Chinese Dietetics and Gastronomy.”
Yan Liang is an Associate Professor of Chinese Language and Literature at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Her research interests include late imperial Chinese novels, Chinese food culture, and Chinese popular culture. Her recent publications focus on the perception and presentation of food in pre-modern Chinese literature.
Ying-Ying Tiffany Liu
“Who are the Chinese? Eating Chinese in South Africa.”
Ying-ying Liu is a researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her PhD in Anthropology from Carleton University, Canada. Based on fourteen months of ethnographic research on the Chinese restaurants in South Africa, her doctoral dissertation examined the intertwining of migration, transnationality, economic strategy and cultural identity. She is currently conducting fieldwork among the Chinese in Angola.
“From the Manila Galleon to Pacific Fusion: Chinese Food in Latin America.”
Jeffrey M. Pilcher is Professor of History and Food Studies at the University of Toronto. His books include Que vivan los tamales! Food and the Making of Mexican Identity (1998), Food in World History (2006), and Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food (2012). He is also a member of the editorial collective of the peer-reviewed journal Global Food History. He is currently writing a book on how beer traveled the world.
Ivonne Campos Rico
“Cafés de chinos: Mexican Chinese Culinary Culture in Mexico City.”
Ivonne Campos Rico is a Mexican anthropologist. She received an MA and Ph.D. in Chinese Studies from El Colegio de Mexico, and from 2017 to 2019 she conducted a Postdoctoral Research on Anthropology of Food, at Benemeritus Autonomous University of Puebla, Mexico, with a grant from the Mexican National Science and Technology System (CONACYT). Her research interests and publications are in history and ethnicity during the Qing Dynasty, and political and social issues linked to the Chinese presence in modern Mexico (identity, migration, xenophobic violence and anti-Chinese movements, history and culture of Chinatown in Mexico City). Currently, she is Research Professor at El Colegio de Tlaxcala, México. Her book Los chinos de ultramar: sabor, cultura alimentaria y prácticas culinarias (Overseas Chinese: Flavor, Food Culture and Culinary Practices) is about to be published (2019, Ed. Palabra de Clío, Mexico).
Q. Edward Wang
“The Global Appeal of Pungency: Szechuan (Sichuan) Food as Chinese Food.”
Professor of History at Rowan University, Q. Edward Wang also holds a Changjiang Professorship at Peking University since 2007. A cultural and intellectual historian of Asia, Wang authored Chopsticks: A Cultural and Culinary History in 2015, which has since appeared in Japanese, Korean and Chinese. He also edits Chinese Studies in History, a journal that makes noteworthy works in Chinese available to English readers.
Kaitland Byrd's work uses cultural consumption as a lens to understand social inequalities with an emphasis on explaining the processes of legitimation and differentiation that can shape access to resources and opportunities. For example, there are many friendly debates about what counts as the most “authentic” type of food based on its relationship to history, identity, and production, but these cultural processes impact how people navigate other aspects of life as well. She recently published her first book Real Southern Barbecue: Constructing Authenticity in Southern Food Culture, which explores how barbecue pitmasters and restaurant owners navigate the changing demands to hold true to their generations-long foodway traditions.
Sean Jy-Shyang Chen holds a doctorate in biomedical engineering from McGill University, Canada, and is a senior research engineer for computer vision and machine learning in medicine. He is the translator and annotator of the seminal Qing Dynasty manual on cookery: Recipes from the Garden of Contentment(Suiyuan Shidan, 隨緣食單), which provides technical details on ingredients and culinary techniques crucial for understanding the 18th century work. He has a lifelong interest in food-ways and Chinese history, and is currently working on a translation of a Song Dynasty culinary work. His other interests include using computational techniques to analyze foods and cuisines to better understand their common roots. He posts his translations and other scholarly works on Chinese cuisine on his blog: https://wayoftheeating.wordpress.com/
Eric C. Rath is Professor of Premodern Japanese History at the University of Kansas and a specialist in traditional Japanese culture especially foodways. His latest book is Japan's Cuisines: Food, Place and Identity (2016), and he recently completed writing a global history of sushi.
Amanda Respess is a doctoral candidate in the Joint Program in Anthropology & History at the University of Michigan and is also completing the Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies. Amanda's dissertation is about the exchange of medical materials, knowledge, and long-distance trade commodities along the premodern Maritime Silk Road, and the afterlives of related objects in Western museums. Her recent publications include the article, "Revisiting the Date of the Java Sea Shipwreck from Indonesia," published with collaborators from the Field Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, and two co-authored book chapters with Field Museum collaborator, Lisa C. Niziolek, titled, “Globalization in Southeast Asia’s Early Age of Commerce: Evidence from the 13th-Century Java Sea Shipwreck,” in The Routledge Handbook of Archaeology and Globalization, and “Exchanges and Transformations in Gendered Medicine on the Maritime Silk Road: Evidence from the 13th Century Java Sea Wreck,” in Histories of Medicine in the Indian Ocean World.
Ian Shin is Assistant Professor of History and American Culture at the University of Michigan. His research and teaching focus on the social and cultural history of the United States in the Pacific World. Ian is currently completing his first book, entitled Imperfect Knowledge: Chinese Art and American Power in the Transpacific Progressive Era. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Journal of Asian American Studies, the Journal of American-East Asian Relations, and the Connecticut History Review. Ian received his Ph.D. from Columbia University.
Jessica Kenyatta Walker’s interdisciplinary research bridges the fields of African American material culture, Black feminist theory, food studies, and theories of space/place. She is currently an LSA Collegiate Fellow in the Department of American Culture at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She received her PhD in American Studies and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from The University of Maryland, College Park.
Yanqiu Zheng is a historian of modern china with broad teaching and research interests in East Asian and international history. Although his first name is often misspelled as "Yanqui" and mispronounced as "Yankee" (Yanqui is indeed the Spanish equivalent), Dr. Zheng is a proud southerner from China's lower Yangzi delta. Going to college 700 miles away from home in north China and later coming to study and work in the Midwest, Arizona, and Pennsylvania, he enjoys the peripatetic journey in life. Besides teaching, Dr. Zheng is also engaged in the revision of his first book manuscript, tentatively titled "In Search of Admiration and Respect: Chinese Cultural Diplomacy in the United States, 1875-1975". It documents the efforts by Chinese intellectual and political elites in asserting sovereign definitions of China's cultural refinement and achievements during the time of the country's prolonged sociopolitical fragmentation. He is also developing another project on the changing meanings of Chinese food amid the country's fundamental transformations in the twentieth century. This will result in new scholarship and courses, both delicious hopefully.