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Huizinga-Masterclass ‘Using food in (post)colonial research: possibilities and methodological challenges’ – 1 ECTS

Huizinga-Masterclass ‘Using food in (post)colonial research: possibilities and methodological challenges’ by Professor Katarzyna Cwiertka (Leiden University)

Date: 15 & 16 November 2019


Unfortunately, this Masterclass is fully booked. Please contact us at if you would like a spot on the waiting list.



This masterclass is part of the symposium ‘(Post)colonial foodways: creating, negotiating, and resisting transnational food systems’ (attendance required). The masterclass seeks to address two issues. First of all, to explore the ways in which food can enrich a research project on a topic that is not necessarily focused on food. The second objective is to discuss the challenges posed by engaging in a historical study of food. This masterclass is organized in collaboration with the Rural and Environmental History Group at Wageningen University and with Allard Pierson, Collections of the University of Amsterdam.


Write a short essay (400-500 words), in which you engage in the first issue, based on the assigned readings. If possible, try to integrate your own research project in the answer as well. Submit the essay no later than 1 November and be prepared to discuss it in class.

Deadline: Friday 1 November 2019.

Literature (will be provided):
Locher-Scholten, E., “Summer Dresses and Canned Food, European Women and Western Lifestyle” (Chapter 4). In Women and the Colonial State: Essays on Gender and Modernity in the Netherlands Indies, 1900-1942, 121-150. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press 2000.

Cwiertka, Katarzyna J. 2010. “Dining-out in the Land of Desire: Colonial Seoul and the Korean Culture of Consumption”. In Consuming Korean Tradition in Early and Late Modernity: Commodification, Tourism and Performance, ed. L. Kendall, 21-38. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.


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.

This year’s Symposium encourages scholars from all relevant fields of research to explore the continuing relevance of the links between (post)colonial studies and food history.

Attending the symposium (both days) is a mandatory part of the masterclass.


Date & time:
Symposium: 15 November: 9.00 – 17.30 & 16 November: 9.30 – 12.30
Masterclass: 16 November: 14.00 – 16.00

Symposium: Aula, University of Amsterdam, Singel 411, 1012 XM Amsterdam
Masterclass: Werkgroepenruimte, Allard Pierson, Oude Turfmarkt 129, 1012 GC Amsterdam

Masterclass open to: Research MA students and PhD candidates who are a member of a Dutch national research school

ECTS: 1. The Huizinga Instituut issues certificates after successful participation.

Maximum no. of participants: 12

Language: English

Costs: None. Symposium fee included.

Coordination: Ingrid de Zwarte, Joke Mammen.