Qing Emperors And Their Celebrity Chefs by Prof Joanna Waley-Cohen

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Qing Emperors And Their Celebrity Chefs by Prof Joanna Waley-Cohen

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WHAT: An RASBJ Zoom talk by Professor Joanna Waley-Cohen, followed by Q&A

WHEN: Sept. 23 Wednesday 19.00-20.00 Beijing Standard Time.

MORE ABOUT THE EVENT: Throughout many dynasties, emperors perceived cooks in a highly political light — because the art of cooking was a useful metaphor for government. As the early Daoist work Dao De Jing put it: “Governing the country is in principle like cooking a small fish”. The prestige of Chinese culture posed a potential threat to imperial control under the Manchu emperors. The great 18th-century Qing emperor Qianlong (1736-95) thus sought to harness that prestige to his own ends. Gastronomy, long a centerpiece of the cultivated life, was central to this campaign. For instance, Qianlong claimed a special predilection for the food of Suzhou, long seen as the epicenter of Chinese haute cuisine, and personally both recruited the finest cooks to work in the palace kitchens and chose the dishes they served him. In doing so he took to new levels the longstanding centrality of food to ruling in China.

MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Joanna Waley-Cohen is Provost of NYU Shanghai and Julius Silver Professor of History at NYU. She is the author of Exile in Mid-Qing China; The Sextants of Beijing; and The Culture of War in China, as well as numerous articles on food, gastronomy, and culinary culture in imperial China.

HOW MUCH: This event is free and exclusively for members of the RASBJ and other RAS branches. If you know someone who wants to join RASBJ, ask them to add MembershipRASBJ on Wechat or email [email protected]

HOW TO JOIN THE EVENT: To become an RASBJ member in order to attend this event, please add MembershipRASBJ on Wechat or email [email protected] to inquire about terms and rates. Join at least two days before the talk to allow time for you to receive the event notice with the advance registration link.

Additional Details

Registration email/URL - [email protected]

Event registration closed.

Date And Time

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


Zoom: Beijing Timezone

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