Commensality: From Everyday Food to Feast.pdf

Commensality: From Everyday Food to Feast.pdf


Throughout time and in all parts of the world, humans have eaten together socially. Commensality, eating and drinking together, is fundamentally a social activity which creates and cements bonds which define our place in society. Covering prehistoric archaeology, to medieval banquets, to the inaugural dinner of the American President to everyday commensality as we eat in our homes, with friends, in religious ceremonies and as a form of political activism, this rich collection provides a unique exploration of commensality. Scholars from history, archaeology and anthropology have long studied the human practices and material culture and artefacts associated with communal eating and feasting, but until now these critical insights have not been presented in dialogue with one another. Uniquely, this book fuses insights from anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, religious studies and literary scholars to introduce a truly multidisciplinary and inclusive survey of commensality to the present day. From the role of drinking in China to religious taboos to ancient cooking practices, this fascinating volume is indispensable reading for students and scholars of the anthropology, history and archaeology of food.

Susanne Kerner is Associate Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She has directed a number of excavations in Jordan from different periods and is the author of several publications concerned with social complexity, social importance of food and craft specialisation. Cynthia Chou is Associate Professor and Head of Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She is a social anthropologist who has carried out extensive research with the Orang Suku Laut, the sea-nomads of the Malay World. Her research focuses on centre-periphery relations of marginalized ethnic groups in Southeast Asia. Morten Warmind is Associate Professor and Head of Studies of Sociology of Religion at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He is a specialist in pre-Christian European religions and studies religious change during the Hellenistic times.

Notes on Contributors 1) Introduction, Susanne Kerner (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) and Cynthia Chou (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) Part 1. Everyday Commensality 2) Commensality and the Organization of Social Relations, C.B. Tan (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China) 3) Commensal Circles and the Common Pot, Penny van Esterik (York University, Canada) 4) Commensality between the Young, Boris Andersen (Aalborg University, Denmark) 5) Activism through Commensality: Food and Politics in a Temporary Vegan Zone, Yve le Grand (University of Lisbon, Portugal) 6) Cooking in the 4th Millennium BCE: Investigating the Social via the Material, Maria Bianca D'Anna (Eberhard Karls University, Germany) and Carolin Jauss (Free University Berlin, Germany) Part 2. Special Commensality 7) Methodological and Definitional Issues in the Archaeology of Food, Katheryn Twiss (Stony Brook University, USA) 8) Medieval and Modern Banquets: Commensality and Social Categorization, Paul Freedman (Yale University, USA) 9) Ritual Feasting at Domuztepe, Alexandra Fletcher (British Museum, UK) and Stuart Campbell (University of Manchester, UK) 10) Drink and Commensality, or How to Hold onto Your Drink in the Chalcolithic, Susanne Kerner (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) Part 3. The Social and Political Aspects of Commensality 11) How Chicken Rice Informs about Identity, Cynthia Chou (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) 12) Feasting on Locusts and Truffles in the 2nd Millenium BCE, Hanne Nyman (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) 13) Commensality and Sharing in an Andean Community in Bolivia, Cornelia A. Nell (University of St Andrews, UK) 14) Dissolved in Liquor and Life: Drinkers and Drinking Cultures in Mo Yan's Novel, Liquorland, Astrid M ller-Olsen (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) 15) Justifications for Foodways and the Study of Commensality, Jordan Rosenblum (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA) 16) The Role of Food in the Life of Christians in the Roman Empire, Morten Warmind (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) 17) Ritual Meals and Polemics in Antiquity, Anne Ingvil Gilhus (University of Bergen, Norway) Notes Bibliography Index


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