This is the blog for Eating Chinese, an academic conference jointly sponsored by Brown University Center for Race and Ethnicity and The Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales University. The purpose of this blog is to keep everyone updated with scheduling changes and announcements.
Conference sessions are open to the public without charge, but space is limited, and registration is required. Please register by email: email@example.com; and indicate which days (Day 1, Day 2, Day3) you will be in attendance.
You do not need to subscribe to this blog to receive updates. Email us, then we will invite you to our Google Group. Once you join the Google Group, you will receive an email every time we announce updates.
"Garlic eater," "fish eater," and "pie eater" are all pejoratives that show how foods converge with identity. Food choices signal values as well--what you eat may suggest you are an adventurer, a gourmet, a slow food enthusiast, or an ethnic food homeboy. In these sessions a discussion of specific comestibles leads to related issues of food, identity and social values.
Does a honey peach taste like Shanghai? Does memory constitute food? Does food constitutes place? How do foods and identities entwine themselves in places and a place's inhabitants, and what do these connections mean?
"The Eskimos, so they say, have 12 different words for snow. Well, in Hong Kong, we have a dozen or more ways to say, 'Eat Here!'" (New York Times, January 30, 2008) Hong Kong citizens obsess about food; some say there is even a Hong Kong cuisine.
"Restaurants and Cultural Identity: Food Group Shadows"
A Cuisine and a Community: Chinese food and the rise and fall Chinatown as a tourist site
This paper tells a tale of a cuisine and a tale of a community. The cuisine is Chinese food, which has become America’s first national cuisine. The community is the American Chinatown, one of the nation’s most storied ethnic communities. The first part of the paper measures the enormous popularity of Chinese food in the realm of public consumption. The second part charts the four major stages in the development of Chinatown, specially its rise and fall as a tourist attraction. The two stories are intimately intertwined. Chinese food could not have achieved prominence without Chinatown. By the same token, as an important marker of identity and as an important socioeconomic and cultural institution, Chinese food has been extremely vital for understanding the formation and transformation of Chinatown.
Chow Mein, Chicken Wings, and Cheeseburgers: Recalling Downcity Chinese in the Postwar Era revisits the world of Chinese restaurants in downtown Providence from its heyday in the wake of World War II through its decline in the 1980s. This exhibit remembers Ming Garden, Mee Hong, and Luke's Restaurant through the families that owned and ran them. It also explores the consumption of Chinese food and culture by the greater Downcity Providence community.