Ports, Foods, and Connectivities Across the Indian Ocean

Event Description:

Travels on the monsoon among countless connected ports around the Indian Ocean and western Pacific formed spaces of mobility connecting East Asia with Southeast, South and West Asia, from ancient times. Seaborne mobility by migrants, merchants, warriors, and cultural activists shaped all of Asia for many centuries before it brought Europeans and launched global modernity. Subsequently, modern industrial infrastructure -- railways, steam ships, and deep-sea ports – further integrated this maritime region, leading to intensified circulations of people, goods, ideas, and tastes.

This panel examines two aspects of Indian Ocean connections. First, it examines the environmental, political, and economic reasons for the emergence of new ports. Second, it focuses on the circulations and mixing of food ingredients, food habits, and culinary tastes as examples of connectivities across the maritime spaces.

Brief talks will be presented and discussed by the following panelists.

  • “How New Ports Emerge? The Cases of Cochin and Malacca” by Tansen Sen, Professor of History, Baruch College, CUNY
  • “Bad Habits and Good Taste: Unconventional Circulations” by Krishnendu Ray, Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, New York University
  • “Kapitan Chicken: Materialized Maritime Connections in Nyonya Cuisine” by Mareike Pampus, PhD Candidate, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

The panel discussion will be moderated by David Ludden, Professor and Chair, Department of History, New York University.

Co-sponsored by NYU's Center for Global Asia.

Registration for this event is closed.