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67. Banqueting in Chinese Art, Literature, and Religion

Fri, March 17, 10:30am to 12:30pm, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, Floor: 2nd Floor, Wentworth

Session Submission Type: Organized Panel

Abstract

Throughout China’s history banqueting influenced cultural practices at all levels of society. Taking case studies from the 9th to the 20th century, this inter-disciplinary panel will explore the different ways banqueting communicated and regulated political ideology, dietary and medicinal customs, and the formation of elite identity for men and women. Papers will draw on literary and visual representations of banquets, as well as evidence from the material culture of feasting and the daily meal to reconstruct the different ways rituals surrounding food and drink shaped Chinese society. Linda Rui Feng’s paper focuses on a 9th century fantastical tale in order to illuminate the history of food, pharmacology, and trade during the Tang dynasty. Zoe S. Kwok presents a comparison of two Song dynasty paintings of elite banquets in order to consider how artists and their patrons shaped the representation of gender, idealized modes of behavior, and banquet culture. Alfreda Murck turns our attention to the twentieth century and delves into the political and cultural messages that were an inextricable part of dining during the Mao era.

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