Upcoming Events

Food Studies at Brown Speaker Series 2017-2018

All talks in the Speaker Series are free and warmly open to the public.

This talk is co-sponsored by: Native American and Indigenous Studies & Native American Heritage Series with The Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, Science and Technology Studies, American Studies & Anthropology. 

Event location: Smith-Buonanno Hall, Room 106, located at 95 Cushing Street, Providence, RI.

For more information on Sean Sherman, please visit The Sioux Chef website

Past Events

Food Studies at Brown Speaker Series 2016-2017

Cheung Talk Flyer


About the Speaker: Sidney Cheung is Professor of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Since 2002, with the publication of The Globalization of Chinese Food (2002), a volume co-edited with David Y. H. Wu, Sidney has been at the center of an evolving conversation about the intersections of cuisine, region, and and nation as global forces destabilize how we think about national identities and borders. Cheung’s ongoing work follows closely the food space in his native Hong Kong and across the border in China’s mainland. At the same time, Sidney’s curiosity is wide-ranging; he writes also about tourism, visual cultures, ethnicity, and cultural nationalism.


Reading Suggestions:

  • Appadurai, Arjun. “How to Make a National Cuisine: Cookbooks in Contemporary India.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 30, (1988): 3–24.
  • Cheung, Sidney C.H., ed. Rethinking Asian Food Heritage. Taipei: Foundation of Chinese Dietary Culture, 2014.
  • Duruz, Jean. “Love in a Hot Climate: Foodscapes of Trade, Travel, War and Intimacy.” Gastronomica 16, no. 3 (2016): 16-27.
  • Ferguson, Priscilla P. “A Cultural Field in the Making: Gastronomy in 19th-Century France.” American Journal of Sociology 103, no. 3 (1998): 597-641.

To View:


Charlotte Biltekoff Talk Flyer

About the talk: While scientific approaches tend to dominate efforts to address pressing problems related to food and health, there is increasing acknowledgement that these complex problems cannot be solved by any single form of expertise alone. Complex food system challenges demand new forms of multi-disciplinarity that traverse even – and especially – the divide between the sciences and the humanities and social sciences. This talk will present a humanities-informed perspective on the question of what makes food “good,” pressing up against and exploring the edges of scientific expertise. The aim is to inform and incite new forms of collaboration around Food Studies at Brown.

About the speaker: Charlotte Biltekoff proudly holds a PhD in American Civilization from Brown University and is both grateful and excited to have the opportunity to return to campus to participate in the emergence of Food Studies at Brown. Biltekoff is Associate Professor of American Studies and Food Science and Technology at the University of California Davis, where she builds bridges between scientific and cultural approaches to questions about food and health. She is author of Eating Right in America: The Cultural Politics of Food and Health (Duke University Press, 2013) and has published articles in a wide range of academic journals. Her work on the cultural politics of dietary advice is the subject of a short film, Imperfection Salad, and she engages regularly with the media. Her teaching includes “Food in American Culture,” a large enrollment introductory course, “New Product Ideas,” in which students develop concepts for new food products, and “Design Thinking for Food,” in which students work in multidisciplinary teams to address high impact food challenges.

Speaker Series John Lang

About the Talk: The “menu of choice” available to anyone who buys food remains predominantly assembled by experts, scientists, corporations, and governments. That means we must trust others with our food, and trusting others is not easy. Even though many contend that genetic modification is a wonderful boon to agriculture and is scientifically safe to produce, it does not necessarily reduce public uncertainties, but adds new ones. Although some of the tension may not be necessary and much of it may not be polite, it can be useful. We can create more effective innovation and advance the public good by using this restless idealism on one hand and this sense of impending doom on the other.

About the Speaker: John T. Lang is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. His major substantive interest is the sociological study of food, which is a lens for investigating questions at the intersection of consumption, culture, and trust. 

Speaker Series Co-Sponsors: American Studies, Science and Society, the Cogut Center for the Humanities, the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, Anthropology, and the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World​, and BIOL 0190U: Plant Development, Structure and Function 


Food Heritage, Hybrity, and Locality Conference 
October 23-25, 2014 | Chancellor’s Dining Room, Sharpe Refectory