About this symposium
Although the globalization of food production and consumption is a phenomenon as old as agriculture itself, the increased speed and scale of transnational flows of food products, foodways and food producers has resulted in a greater interaction among food cultures and increased cross-border dependencies for food supplies. It is thus fitting that this conference is held in Tokyo, a new center of globally celebrated high cuisine, in Japan, a country with one the highest rates of dependency on food imports. This symposium will focus on the global/local linkages in the production of new food cultures in societies in the Asia/Pacific region, including the Americas and Asia, asking how foodways work as expressions of social identity, including ethnic, regional, class and national identities. Papers in this conference stress conceptual questions such as the nature of “cuisine” in different social and cultural contexts, and also food policy questions related to the commercial promotion of cuisines from developing countries and the livelihood of food consumers and producers. On the first day of the symposium presenters explore the transnational circuits of particular food products, chains of supply, ecological impacts, cultural definitions and ties to national and local identities. On the second day, presenters focus on the development of “cuisines” in the context of food globalization, looking at cuisines as expressions of national identity and social class, and also as the outcomes of local and transnational political strategies. This symposium is a project of the research group on “Food and social identities in the Pacific region” of the Institute of Comparative Culture of Sophia University, funded by the Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan Academic Research Promotion Fund. The papers will be published by the Institute of Comparative Culture as an online collection of working papers.
Saturday, Feb. 21 - The Transnational Cultural Careers of Food Products
Sunday, Feb. 22 - Creating Cuisines and Producing Identity
Meeting room on the 14F, Building #7
Please use the MAIN GATE to enter the campus. The North Gate facing Shinjuku Dori will be closed on both days.