Thursday, April 23, 2009

Registration Update

Registration for Day 2 (Friday) is now closed.
Seats are still available for Thursday and Saturday.

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:; 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.
Thank you
Below is the schedule for Eating Chinese.

Brown University Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity
The Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales

Eating Chinese:
Comestibles, Cuisine, Commerce and Culture

Thursday April 23

Keynote Forum

6:30 pm:
"Thinking About Food in a Globalized Century"
A conversation with the founding editor
of the award-winning food journal, Gastronomica
Darra Goldstein (Gastronomica and Williams College)
with Mark Swislocki (Brown University)

172 Meeting St., Brown University, Providence, RI

Friday April 24

"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.
357 Benefit St, Brown University, Providence, RI

10:00 am:
"Seasoning Modernity,
or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love MSG"
Robert Jisong Ku, (SUNY-Binghamton)

11:30 am:
"Cross-cultural pigs: Myths, meals, and tastings"
John Eng-Wong (Brown University)

12:30 pm:

1:30 pm:
"Tofu: an ethnographical portrayal"
Chee-Beng Tan (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

3:00 pm:
"The Social Life of American Crayfish in Asia"
Sidney Cheung (Chinese University of Hong Kong),
Wei Ying Wong (Connecticut College), commentator

4:30 pm:
Summary Q & A
Evelyn Hu-deHart (Brown), moderator

Saturday April 25

Cuisine, Commerce, Culture

Harborside Campus, Providence, RI

10:00 am:
"Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore:
Cuisine: Memory, Locality and Nation"
Mark Swislocki (Brown University), Sidney Cheung (CUHK),
Chee-Beng Tan (CUHK), and Darra Goldstein (moderator)

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.

11:30 am:
"Restaurants and Cultural Identity: Food Group Shadows"
Yong Chen (University of California, Irvine)

Chinese Restaurants: sites of cultural production
If the owner or cook is Chinese, and the cuisine is steak and potatoes, is it Chinese food?
If the owner is named Grichten or Puck, can the restaurant be Chinoise?

12:45 pm:
Q&A over Lunch: Evelyn Hu-deHart, moderator
Food Service from the Iron Wok Food Truck $6.50/plate

1:45 pm:
"Chow Mein, Chicken Wings, and Cheeseburgers:
Recalling Downcity Chinese in the Postwar Era"
Exhibit Welcome and Comment
Heather Lee and Amy Jin Johnson, curators

2:30 pm:
"Cooking Identities"
Chef Neath Pal (Johnson & Wales Culinary College)
Robert Lee (Brown University)
Chef Pal talks with Robert Lee and cooks for the audience

Made possible by the generous support of:

Johnson & Wales University
- Culinary Arts Museum
- College of Culinary Arts
- Culinary Events Department

Brown University
- Office of the Provost
- John Nicolas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage
- East Asian Studies
- Anthropology
- History
- Graduate Student Council
- Cogut Center for Humanities

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Program Update-Yong Chen's revised presentation

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.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Iron Wok Truck Special Menu

On Saturday, chefs will supply the Iron Wok truck with a special menu.

Conference participants will have a choice from these at a price of $6.50 a plate :

  • 钟水铰 Special Dumplings in the style of Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan
  • 炸酱面 Zhajiang Noodles, a North China comfort food
  • 红烧狮子头 Soy braised Lion's Head, almost like Zhou En-lai fed Nixon
  • 家常豆付 Home style Doufu, Sichuan spiced
  • 干煸四季豆 Dry fried Four Season Beans, another Sichuan regular

Come and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Exhibit Update

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.