Summer School

Leiden University enjoys a world-wide reputation for its expertise on Asia and for its Asian collections. To coincide with the offcial opening of The Asian Library in September 2017, the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), LeidenAsiaCentre (LAC) and the Shared Taste Project at Leiden University hosted a Summer School devoted to the academic study of Asian Food for MA/PhD students and early career scholars. 

This unique occasion provided wide ranging coverage of this growing interdisciplinary field with contributions from international experts with at least one of whom each student had an individual consultation about their own work. 

The aim was to highlight the wide range of resources for the academic study of Asian Food, available in Leiden and to present advanced methodological approaches and research techniques, together with the hands-on experience necessary for the analysis of historical documents and artefacts.

Via a combination of expert lectures, student-led discussions, individual supervision, and local field trips, this Summer School provided participants with an insight into the growing interdisciplinary field of Asian Food Studies, which included sessions in history, anthropology, sociology, and material culture studies.

The four senior academic leaders provided guidance to help students navigate the burgeoning literature on food, establishing in dialogue with the students a good sense of the necessary anthropological, sociological and historical tools for the analysis of all aspects of food: from preparation to consumption, from shared dining and banqueting to individual eating practices, from visual representations of food practices to the material culture that is inextricably connected to food practices, today as in the past.

The lectures, discussion groups and individual research supervision were combined with: hands-on research training; undertaking exercises in participant observation; handling objects in museums and private collections.  All this was supported by visits to the Special Collections of Leiden University and the National Museum of Ethnology.

The international experts who contributed include: Nir Avieli (Ben Gurion University, Israel), Anne Murcott (SOAS, University of London), Katarzyna Cwiertka (Leiden University), and Anne Gerritsen (Warwick University / Leiden University).


Get an impression of the Summer School on Asian Food here