Special Roundtable: Translating the Foods of the World, 14 December, 9.30am (ET)

A color book of sweets from the early modern period in Japan (1600-1868) called Illustrated Catalog of Confections (Kashi zufu) in the collection of the Ajinomoto Dietary Culture Library.

We’re excited to share this special event, co-hosted by the Culinaria Research Centre at the University of Toronto and the Center for East Asian Studies at The University of Kansas. This follows our recent call for submissions on the same theme, published both on this site and in extended form in our latest issue, 21.4 (open access), so will be invaluable to both early-career and established scholars considering working towards such a publication.

Hosted by Krishnendu Ray, and featuring Eric C. Rath, Robert Valgenti, Miranda Brown, and Saumya Gupta, this was a virtual event dedicated to critical questions such as:

What does it mean to translate food texts? What are the challenges and opportunities relating to such translations? How must translators develop new vocabularies to express Indigenous concepts? How do translators engage with historical non-English texts like recipes that may assume more information and insight than they provide, and how has culinary terminology changed over time in tandem with other historical developments?

What does it mean to translate food and culinary knowledge? How do we all translate food in everyday ways, through oral transmission, adaptation, food experiences, etc.? How are oral traditions translated into text? How should translators consider their audience, including those seeking culinary application?

For anyone who was not able to attend, please enjoy the recording below of a fascinating conversation between our host and panelists:

Thank you to everyone who joined us, and we look forward to exciting culinary translation submissions!