Free and open to the public. Please RSVP here.
About the talk:
Nowadays, the Chinese are famous for their food -- but not for their cheeses or for their dairy products. Scholarly and popular accounts explain this reputation through biological and cultural factors -- the prevalence of lactose intolerance and xenophobia, for example. This talk challenges the popular and scholarly view through a mouthwatering tour of Chinese cheese dishes. It traces the long history of cheese in China, demonstrating that such foods were regarded as delicacies by the early modern elite, and accounts for its sudden disappearance from the modern Chinese diet.
About the speaker:
Miranda Brown is Professor of Chinese Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan, where she has taught since completing her PhD in History at UC Berkeley in 2002. She is the author of more than a dozen articles in Chinese cultural and social history and two books: The Politics of Mourning in Early China (2007) and The Art of Medicine in Early China: The Ancient and Medieval Origins of a Modern Archive (2015). She is also a founding editor of Fragments: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Ancient and Medieval Pasts. She is currently preoccupied with the history of Chinese food.