Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food 2019

(Post)colonial foodways: creating, negotiating, and resisting transnational food systems (topic)

Because of its manifold effects on individuals, cultures, and countries, from the 15th century onwards the colonial era had far-reaching impacts on existing foodways. Colonial rulers often imposed exploitative food systems upon the colonized, resulting in relationships that have been perpetuated, mediated, and resisted to this day. Because of their troubling and complex legacy, colonial foodways have become an essential theme in recent histories of transnational food production, consumption and trade practices from early modern mercantilism to the present. By shifting the focus from two-way colonizer-colonized relationships towards (post)colonial networks and their various nexuses, truly transnational histories are emerging that decenter Europe and go beyond traditional narratives.

Food history and (post)colonial history intersect in various ways. Theories about exploration and exploitation offer insights into (proto)capitalism and the consumption of commodities, the agency of populations in the Global South, the transfer of food technologies, and the ecological impact of restructuring and repurposing vast areas of land. Studying material culture and (post)colonial food customs, furthermore, advances an in-depth understanding of the historical negotiation of identities and ideologies. The hybridization of national and migrant cuisines, culinary (neo)colonialism, and shifting perceptions of gastronomic ‘authenticity’ all underwrite the continuing influence of the colonial era on how we speak about food and, subsequently, about ourselves.

date: Friday, 15 November – Saturday 16 November 2019
Venue: Aula of the University of Amsterdam, Singel 411, 1012 XM Amsterdam.



Friday, 15 November 2019

09:00 – 10:00 Registration and coffee
10:00 – 10:05 Welcome Marike van Roon

10:05 – 10:30 Professor J.M. van Winter Stipend

10:30 – 11.00 Keynote lecture

11:00 – 11.10 Short break

11:10 – 12.40 Panel 1 – Transatlantic legacies of slavery

12.40 – 13.00 Intermezzo – Postcolonial foodways in the Netherlands

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch break

14.00 – 15.30 Panel 2 – Nationalist policy and (de)colonisation

15.30 – 16:45  Coffee & Tea break

16:45 – 17:30 Prize-giving Ceremony of the 2019 Johannes van Dam Prize and the Joop Witteveen Prize
Drinks at the Allard Pierson UvA.


Saturday, 16 November 2019

09:00 – 09:30 Registration

09.30 – 10.30 Panel 3 – Pursuits of the postcolonial food industry

10.30 – 11.00 Coffee & Tea break

11.00 – 12.00 Panel 4 – Representing the Nation: authenticity and appropriation

12.00 – 12.20 Wrap-up

12.20 – 12.30 Closing remarks and topic for 2019

Afternoon Programme of the Foodie Festival at the Allard Pierson of the UvA (festival starts at 13.00)



Call for Papers

Abstract submission is closed.
Please look here for the CfP: Call for Papers 2019.


The Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food is made possible with the generous support of the Amsterdam School for Historical Studies – University of Amsterdam, Bibliotheken Eemland, Carrera Culinair, Cormet, Fontaine Uitgevers, Huizinga Instituut, Hotel De l’Europe, Nijgh Cuisine, Stichting Gastronomische Bibliotheek and Allard Pierson, University of Amsterdam.