Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food 2019
Friday, 15 November – Saturday 16 November 2019, Aula of the University of Amsterdam, Singel 411, 1012 XM Amsterdam.
Symposium fee: €90 (until 15 September €75)
Reduced fee: €45 (students, Friends of the Special Collections UvA).
(Post)colonial foodways: creating, negotiating, and resisting transnational food systems
Because of its manifold effects on individuals, cultures, and countries, from the 15th century onwards the colonial era had far-reaching impacts on existing foodways. Colonial rulers often imposed exploitative food systems upon the colonized, resulting in relationships that have been perpetuated, mediated, and resisted to this day. Because of their troubling and complex legacy, colonial foodways have become an essential theme in recent histories of transnational food production, consumption and trade practices from early modern mercantilism to the present. By shifting the focus from two-way colonizer-colonized relationships towards (post)colonial networks and their various nexuses, truly transnational histories are emerging that decenter Europe and go beyond traditional narratives.
Food history and (post)colonial history intersect in various ways. Theories about exploration and exploitation offer insights into (proto)capitalism and the consumption of commodities, the agency of populations in the Global South, the transfer of food technologies, and the ecological impact of restructuring and repurposing vast areas of land. Studying material culture and (post)colonial food customs, furthermore, advances an in-depth understanding of the historical negotiation of identities and ideologies. The hybridization of national and migrant cuisines, culinary (neo)colonialism, and shifting perceptions of gastronomic ‘authenticity’ all underwrite the continuing influence of the colonial era on how we speak about food and, subsequently, about ourselves.
Friday 15 November 2019
09.00–10.00 Registration and coffee
10.00–10.05 Welcome Marike van Roon
10.05–10.30 Professor J.M. van Winter Stipend
10.30–11.00 Keynote lecture by Katarzyna Cwiertka
11.00–11.10 short break
11.10–12.40 Panel 1 – Transatlantic legacies of slavery
Chair: Karwan Fatah-Black
- Ilaria Berti – Sugar, Slaves, and Food: The Emergence of a Fusion and Cuisine in the West Indies Colonies (19th century)
- Debby Esmeé de Vlugt – Searching for Roots in African Soil: Black Power and the Politics of Heritage Cooking
- Laura Kihlström & Dalila D’Ingeo – Institutional Racism and the Geneology of Food Insecurity in the US South
12.40–13.00 Intermezzo: Postcolonial foodways in the Netherlands
- Lenno Munnikes & Joris Vermeer – Post-colonial eating out of the wall: Two different stories of the Loempia
13.00–14.00 Lunch break
14.00–15.30 Panel 2 – Nationalist policy and (de)colonisation
Chair: Peter van Dam
- Rachel B. Herrmann – Food Diplomacy, Victual Imperialism, and Victual Warfare: A Food Studies Model for Vast Early America
- Sebastiaan Broere – “Freedom means Rice”: Food Production as a Marker of Postcolonial Independence in Indonesia, 1945-1967
- Arnoud Arps – Trading New-Amsterdam for a Spice Island: Nutmegs, Dutch food history and the spirit of Indonesian nationalism
15.30–16.45 Coffee & Tea break
16.45–17.30 Prize-giving ceremony of the 2019 Johannes van Dam Prize and the Joop Witteveen Prize
Saturday 16 November 2019
09.30–10.30 Panel 3 — Pursuits of the postcolonial food industry
Chair: Iva Peša
- Lola Wilhelm – «Africa must feed Africa»: Nestlé’s participation in imperial and postcolonial food engineering experiments in West Africa, 1950s-1960s
- Noa Berger – Representing the (post)colonial: Addressing the tension between colonial heritage and ethical concerns in the French specialty coffee market
10:30–11:00 Coffee & Tea break
11.00–12.00 Panel 4 – Representing the nation: authenticity and appropriation
Chair: Adriana Churampi Ramirez
- Suzanne Cope – Feeding the Revolution: Two Case Studies on the Use of Food as a Weapon of Resistance in Contemporary (Post)colonial North America
- Catarina Passidomo – Peruvian Gastrodiplomacy: Cuisine as nation-brand in post-colonial contex
12.00–12.20 Wrap-up – Marlou Schrover
12.20-12.30 Closing remarks and topic for 2020
Afternoon Programme of the Foodie Festival at the Allard Pierson UvA (festival starts at 13.00; registration for this event will start in September)
The Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food is the annual point of assembly and an exchange of knowledge in the field of Food history in the Netherlands. It intends to stimulate debate and research that bridges the gap between different disciplines. Another aim is to transfer academic research to a wider public and stimulate research using the History of Food Collection of Allard Pierson | Collections of the University of Amsterdam. The symposium is therefore targeted at both an academic and a professional audience.
The Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food has been made possible with the generous support of The Amsterdam School for Historical Studies – University of Amsterdam, Bibliotheken Eemland, Carrera Culinair, Cormet, Fontaine Uitgeverij, Hotel De l’Europe, Huizinga Instituut, Nijgh Cuisine, Stichting Gastronomische Bibliotheek, Terra, Rural & Environmental History Group – Wageningen University & Research and Allard Pierson |Collections of the University of Amsterdam.