When Foods Travel

Panel in the 7th Annual International ADI Conference on Food, Feeding and Eating In and Out of Asia

Convenor: Manpreet K. Janeja, University of Copenhagen

What happens when foods travel, entangled in local, national, and transnational circuits of flows and circulations in and out of Asia? What are the relations, connections, networks, linkages and stoppages that are forged, contested, ruptured, re-formed, or negotiated? For instance, spatial and temporal transformations brought forth in Asian mega-cities and urban agglomerations by street food vendors who navigate contested governance regimes of ‘public spaces’ and ‘ideas of the city’ as imagined and re-imagined by different groups such as middle-class residents, urban planners or politicians, while also contributing to urban food security (e.g. mobile labourers and ‘urban poor’ rely on cheap and readily available street foods). Or the smells, sights, sounds, textures, and tastes of foodscapes evoked by Asian grocery stores and ‘ethnic restaurants’ in London or New York that elicit memories of ‘home’, nostalgia, loss, forms of belonging/not-belonging or imaginations of travel and variously calibrated engagements with culinary cosmopolitanisms. Or the complex affective, embodied, and cognitive networks of food anxieties, (dis)trust, risk and uncertainty that foods become entangled in as they are increasingly distributed and consumed far beyond, and removed from, the sources and sites of production.

This panel invites papers that engage with how foods mediate different forms of negotiations as they travel across scale.

Manpreet K. Janeja is an Assistant professsor at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen.