Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

70 - Conceptualising Restaurants as a Site for Diaspora Formation

7/6/2018
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Silveroak II, Ground Floor

The eating place is one of the most frequented sites of cross-cultural interactions. When immigrants move to a new place, they often either look for familiar food or open a restaurant to make a living. People from the host society also experience the initial taste of a different culture at eateries. By narrating the ups and downs of these business establishments, such as Chinese restaurants in Cairo, Indian restaurants in Singapore, Russian restaurants in Beijing, and Chinese restaurants in Kolkata, this panel seeks to conceptualize restaurants as a site for historical and contemporary diaspora formation. It will also discuss the hybridity and emergence of new cuisines created by different diasporas communities.


Despite their seemingly small scale, restaurants are places through which people, ideas, and tastes encounter and interact with each other. They are often the nodal points where intellectual, commercial, and personal networks are established and consolidated. They are also the stage for community image “branding” and memory making. Some restaurants last longer and spread farther (via franchising chains), while others are short-lived. Each panelist provides a case study of restaurants where connections and confluences were established and strengthened and/or, in the case of a communication breakdown, barriers and boundaries were demarcated and reinforced. Collectively, this panel seeks to bring together the spatial and temporal dimensions of inter- and trans-Asia diaspora formation through the lens of restaurants.

Presentations:

Shuang Wen

New York University Abu Dhabi, Singapore

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Shuang Wen

Jayati Bhattacharya

National University of Singapore, Singapore

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Jayati Bhattacharya

Piya Chakraborty

Shiv Nadar University, India

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Piya Chakraborty

Shuang Wen

New York University Abu Dhabi, Singapore

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Shuang Wen

Jayati Bhattacharya

National University of Singapore, Singapore

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Jayati Bhattacharya


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