Globalization, food and social identity in the Asia Pacific (2013-2014)

(continuation of previous ‘Global food’ project)

Name of person in charge: James Farrer,

General Explanation of proposal:
Increasingly Asian cuisines and non-Asian cuisines in Asia are produced in a transnational rather than local or purely national context. As cuisines cross borders they become site of the local, regional and transnational cultural politics of foods and foodways. This sociological research project intends to map the cuisines of East Asia as they travel across borders. Theoretically, the project aims to make original contributions to ideas of culinary politics and the relationship between cuisines and identity in an age of transnational culinary production. Some preliminary conceptualizations include ideas of culinary contact zones, culinary nostalgia, culinary soft power and regional cuisines as part of nation building. Empirically, the group uses multi-sited and cross-border ethnographic fieldwork to uncover the transnational pathways and the cultural politics of national, regional and urban cuisines in several contexts ranging from Asia to North America. This proposal brings together a diverse and experienced team of ethnographic researchers together with leading global experts on Asian cuisine.

ICC Activities (supported by ICC funding)
Conference in June 2013
The primary activity of the research group this year will be a symposium and writing workshop in June 22. The conference discussions will be open to the interested public, but will primarily focused on working towards an edited volume.

Conference Participants (confirmed)
・James Farrer, Sophia University
・David Wank, Sophia University
・Kosaku Yoshino, Sophia University
・Takefumi Terada, Sophia University
・Akihiro Koido, Hitotsubashi University
・Stephanie Assmann, Akita University
・Katarzyna J. Cwiertka, Leiden University
・Eric Rath, University of Kansas
・Sidney Cheung, Chinese University of Hong Kong
・Krishnendu Ray, New York University
・Shoko Imai, University of Tokyo

Plans for Publication:
The goal of this project is a joint publication in the form of an edited volume from a university press. All members of the research group and invited participants will produce draft chapters for discussion in the June 2013 meeting. Submission of the manuscript should be in late 2013.

Building on Our Previous Research:
This proposal builds on a previous two year collaborative research project sponsored by Sophia University’s Institute of Comparative Culture and funded by the Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan Academic Research Promotion Fund ( That project broadly investigated the global/local linkages in the production of new food cultures in societies in the Asia/Pacific region, including the Americas and Asia. Sixteen ethnographic papers were included in the final publication, published as an online book (J. Farrer ed. Globalization, food and social identities in the Pacific Region) by the Institute of Comparative Culture in 2010.

Go to Project Unit website