Making Sense of Taste (topic)
From which angle does a scholar approach the concept of taste? Is it primarily an objective, chemical quality, or should it be considered a product of culture? And are these perspectives wholly incompatible? The physical quality and flavour of food and drink preoccupy molecular biologists, gastronomic professionals, and bon vivants. Chemists, among others, construe classification systems, aspiring to help us understand the complexity and the possibilities of flavour. Mediators and their audiences may oftentimes embrace subjectivity, by detailing their intimate and embodied experience of taste. Neither approach is new: historically, classification systems have had major cultural and religious significance, whereas the conception of ‘good’ food – as opposed to ‘bad’ food – and its application in mechanisms of social distinction is at least as old as class-based societies themselves. Clearly, discussions about taste have always been informed by an array of physiological and psychological experiences, not just our palates.
This year’s Symposium aims to address this complex notion of taste: its characteristics, its cultural evaluation, and its history.
date: Friday, 17 November – Saturday 18 November 2017
Venue: Aula of the University of Amsterdam, Singel 411, 1012 XM Amsterdam.
Friday, 17 November 2017
09:00 – 10:00 Registration and coffee
10:00 – 10:05 Welcome Steph Scholten
10:05 – 10:30 Professor J.M. van Winter Stipendium
10:30 – 11.00 Keynote lecture by Peter Klosse
11:00 – 12.30 Panel 1 – Taste and its Representations
- Chair: Natalie Scholz
- Nathalie Muller and Thomas A. Vilgis – The (early) History of Umami
- Allen J. Greico – The Taste of Color: from medical knowledge to dietary choices in the long Middle Ages
- Saar Niermeijer and Gaston Franssen – National Culinary Self-hatred as a Social Strategy: The Myth of Dutch Tastelessness
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch break
14.00 – 15.30 Panel 2 – Taste and Power
- Chair: Paul Erdkamp
- Guy S. Duke – The Lingering Taste of Colonialism: Flavour and Status in a South American Archaeological Context
- Liora Gvion – Old Tastes Rediscovered: Traditional Palestinian Cookery in Israel Getting Modern
- Xiaoping Sun – Creating a Socialist Taste: Public Dining Halls in the Formation of Collective Identity
15.30 – 16:45 Tea break
16:45 – 17:30 Prize-giving Ceremony of the 2016 Johannes van Dam Prize and the 2016 Joop Witteveen Prize
Drinks at Special Collections UvA.
Saturday, 18 November 2017
10.00 – 11.00 Panel 3 – Networks and Public Tastes
- Chair: Viktoria von Hoffmann
- Jonas House – Sushi in the United States, 1945-1970: Supply, Demand, and Changing Public Tastes
- Stefan Wahlen and Jessica Duncan – Classifying Taste – A Genealogy of Taste in Alternative Food Networks
11.00 – 12.00 Panel 4 – (In)authentic Tastes
- Chair: Jessica Duncan
- L. Sasha Gora – Some Like it Wild: An Analysis of Foraged Foods and Perceptions of Taste
- Steen Brock and Susanne Højlund – The Taste of Industrialization: Artificial Flavoring and Authenticity
12.00 – 12.30 Wrap-up by Viktoria von Hoffmann
Afternoon Programme of the Foodie Festival at Special Collections of the UvA (festival starts at 13.00)
Call for Papers
Abstract submission is closed.
Please look here for the CfP: Call for Papers 2017.
The Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food has been made possible with the generous support of Amsterdam University Fund, Amsterdam School for Historical Studies of the University of Amsterdam and The Huizinga Institute.