The Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food is the annual international 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 the University of Amsterdam (UvA). The symposium is therefore targeted at both an academic and a professional audience.
The Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food is the result of a collaborative partnership between Allard Pierson | Collections of the University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam School of Historical Studies, University of Amsterdam, the Rural and Environmental History Group, Wageningen University & Research and the research unit Social & Cultural Food Studies (FOST) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Friday, 15 November – Saturday 16 November 2019
Venue: Aula of the University of Amsterdam
Singel 411, 1012 XM Amsterdam.
Symposium fee: € 90 (Early Bird until 15 September: € 75)
Reduced fee: € 45 (students; friends of the Allard Pierson UvA)
To register please follow this link.
Since places are allotted on a first-come, first-serve basis, please register as early as possible.
For an update on the Symposium please sign in here.
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
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, Educational Inequalities, and Poverty: Tracking the Geneology of Food Insecurity in Florida, U.S.
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, Agriculture, and Independence in Sukarno-era Indonesia
- 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 – 17:45 Prize-giving Ceremony of the 2019 Johannes van Dam Prize and the Joop Witteveen Prize
18:00 – 19:30 Drinks at the Allard Pierson.
Saturday, 16 November 2019
09:00 – 09:30 Registration
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 context
12:00 – 12:20 Wrap-up by Marlou Schrover
12:20 – 12:30 Closing remarks and topic for 2020
Afternoon Programme of the Foodie Festival at the Allard Pierson (festival starts at 13.00)
Call for Papers
Abstract submission is closed.
Please look here for the CfP: Call for Papers 2019.
Participants are free to make their own accommodation booking. Many hotels are situated in the vicinity of the conference venue in the Amsterdam historic city centre. The following website can be useful: www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting.
Hotel De L’Europe (*****) offers a special rate to the participants of the Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food: Deluxe Room – EUR 320, per room per night, one person. This includes BTW and breakfast. City tax is not included. Please send an e-mail to email@example.com if you have any questions.
Allard Pierson | Collections of the University of Amsterdam
The Allard Pierson preserves and maintains the academic heritage of the University of Amsterdam. There are over a thousand sub-collections, comprising rare and valuable books, manuscripts, prints, photographs and much, much more. The collections serve educational and research purposes but are also there for the general public.
Amsterdam School of Historical Studies, University of Amsterdam
The Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH) is a research institute of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam. The institute focuses on culture and history. Research is organized both along thematic lines (religion, the city, theatre, conflict, medicine), and in terms of periods in time (e.g. the classical period, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Golden Age, the contemporary period), which are studied from an interdisciplinary perspective (art, history, literature, music, theatre, etc.).
Rural and Environmental History Group, Wageningen University & Research
The Rural and Environmental History Group (RHI) is a chair group within the Social Sciences Department at Wageningen University & Research (WUR), which offers various courses in history to students of WUR and has a research program that is situated at the crossroads of rural, environmental, social, economic, and global history. The mission of the RHI is to offer temporal depth to societal debates and social theories on sustainable and equitable welfare development.
Social & Cultural Food Studies (FOST) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
FOST is a research group for social and cultural food studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The research group, founded in April 2003, works in collaboration with the Vlaams Centrum voor Volkscultuur, the Institut Européen de l’Histoire de l’Alimentation and the Institut National de Recherche Agronomique.
FOST aims at consolidating the expertise on foodstudies by inviting (foreign) specialists to workshops and colloquia, by operating within networks, by publishing and contemplating about food studies, and by performing new (multidisciplinary) food research.
For the details on the topics and the programme of the Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food of the past years please click on the titles:
The Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food has been made possible with the generous support of the Amsterdam Universiteitsfonds, Amsterdam School for Historical Studies – University of Amsterdam, Bibliotheken Eemland, Carrera Culinair, CIRFOOD, Fontaine Uitgeverij, Hotel De l’Europe, Huizinga Instituut, LAM, Nijgh Cuisine, Rural and Environmental History Group, Wageningen University & Research, Stichting Gastronomische Bibliotheek, Uitgeverij Terra and Allard Pierson | Collections of the University of Amsterdam.