*Boissons et bouchées japonaises vous seront offertes.
Familiar and exotic, Japanese food is promoted, defended, “authenticated” and transformed wherever it moves. The reception of Japanese food in North America and elsewhere over the past century has reflected historical and sociocultural change but remains under the influence of a view of Japan as persistently “Galapagan.”
In her talk, Merry White will explore the ways in which meaning is made in Japanese food in the context of change in global culinary culture. While foods have constantly changed in Japan, adjusting and assimilating to foreign foodways and creating novel foods, the reception of Japanese food overseas is often colored by the view of Japan as a “Galapagos Culture” where unique and exotic ”species” of food persist in isolation and impede understanding as they attract attention.
Merry White is Professor of Anthropology at Boston University. She returns to Japan often to continue research in contemporary social and cultural topics. She presently is engaged in research on urban social spaces and social change in Japan, particularly on the history of the cafe. Her teaching includes courses on Japanese society, women in Asia, food and culture, and the anthropology of travel and tourism.
Dr. White’s past work includes books on Japanese education (The Japanese Educational Challenge, Free Press), internationalization (The Japanese Overseas, Free Press and Princeton UP), adolescence and popular culture (The Material Child, Free Press and University of California Press), and family and social policy (Perfectly Japanese, University of California Press). She has also published work on education and international development, women in Japan, and even two cookbooks, Noodles Galore and Cooking for Crowds (both Basic Books). In addition, her work includes essays on food and culture published in Gastronomica, (University of California Press), and in other media. In 2012, Dr. White’s latest book, Coffee Life in Japan, was published by University of California Press.
La discussion (en anglais) sera animée par Christopher Laurent, candidat au doctorat en anthropologie à l’Université de Montréal. Il a vécu plusieurs années au Japon et s’intéresse aux liens affectifs et économiques entre zones urbaines et rurales véhiculés au travers de la cuisine régionale japonaise. Sa recherche porte sur les mécanismes qui permettent à ces traditions régionales d’être incorporées dans le patrimoine national.
The event will take place at UdeM on Thursday February 22 at 4:30 pm at 3744 Jean-Brillant room 6420. The conference will be followed by a sampler of Japanese delicacies.