Food, Senses and the City  book cover
1st Edition

Food, Senses and the City

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 23, 2021
ISBN 9780367458232
March 23, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
264 Pages 48 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This work explores diverse cultural understandings of food practices in cities through the senses, drawing on case studies in North and South America, Asia and Europe.

The volume expands the increasingly popular field of urban food studies to include the senses in which we explore new understandings of how people live in cities and how we can understand cities through food. It reveals how the senses can provide unique insights into how the city and its dwellers are being reshaped and understood. Recognising cities as diverse and dynamic places, the book provides a wide range of case studies from food production to preparation and mediatisation through to consumption. These relationships are interrogated through themes of belonging and homemaking to discuss how food, memory, and materiality connect and disrupt past, present, and future imaginaries. As cities become larger, busier, and more crowded, this volume contributes to actual and potential ways that senses can generate new understandings of how people live together or create boundaries in cities.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of critical food studies, urban studies and sociocultural anthropology.

Table of Contents

Lists of figures
List of abbreviations
List of contributors  

1. The food, senses and the city nexus
Ferne Edwards, Roos Gerritsen and Grit Wesser

Part I: The city and its other

2. Digging into soil, the senses, and society in Utrecht
Vincent Walstra

3. Food activism and sensuous human activity in Cagliari, Italy
Carole Counihan

4. Humming along: Heightening the senses between urban honeybees and humans
Ferne Edwards

5. Sensing vernacular Chennai, not Madras – a photo essay
Roos Gerritsen

Part II: Past in the present: Memory and food

6. The sensorial life of amba: Taste, smell and culinary nostalgia for Iraqi Jews in London and Israel
Joel R. Hart and Daniel Monterescu

7. Thuringian festive cakes: Women’s labour of love and the taste of Heimat
Grit Wesser

8. The taste of home: Migrant foodscapes in marketplaces in Shantou, China
Shuhua Chen

9. Sourcing, sensing and sharing Bengali cuisine on the Gold Coast
Diti Bhattacharya

10. Transmitting Traditions: Digital food haunts of Nepalis in the UK
Premila van Ommen

Part III: Disrupting and re-imagining

11. A taste for tapatio things: Changing city, changing palate
Melissa Biggs

12. The Foodie Flâneur and the periphery of taste in Bucharest’s street food scene 
Monica Stroe

13. Michelin stars and pintxo bars in Donostia: Taste, touch and food tourism in contemporary urban Basque Country
Aitzpea Leizaola

14. Source and supply: Situating food and cultural capital in rural-urban interactions in Vietnam
Catherine Earl

15. Preparing Uchu Jaku: The politics of care in a traditional Andean recipe
Paz Saavedra, José David Gómez-Urrego and J. Guillermo Gómez-Urrego

16. Future directions for food, the senses and the city
Ferne Edwards


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Ferne Edwards is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Socially and Environmentally Just Transitions, Department of Design, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. Previously Research Fellow, RMIT University Centre for Urban Research (Melbourne, Australia) and Work Package Lead of the EU EdiCitNet project at RMIT Europe (Barcelona, Spain), Ferne is a cultural anthropologist researching edible cities, food waste, urban beekeeping, non-monetary food economies and food sharing.

Roos Gerritsen is an anthropologist who works in social innovation and design. In her work she tries to bring science outside of its academic bubble. She also works for an organization that enables exchange through cooking. She worked previously at Heidelberg University and she holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology from Leiden University, Netherlands. Roos is the author of Intimate Visualities and the Politics of Fandom in India (2019).

Grit Wesser is a social anthropologist, currently working on the AHRC-funded collaborative research project ‘Knowing the Secret Police: Secrecy and Knowledge in East German Society’ (2018-2021) at Newcastle University, UK. Previously, she taught social anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, UK, where she also earned her PhD in Social Anthropology.