Gepubliceerd op 19-01-2015

Call for Papers: Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice?

Op vrijdag 13 maart 2015 organiseert het archeologiedepartement ACASA (UvA) een interdisciplinaire conferentie: Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice? Plaats: Doelenzaal, Universiteitsbibliotheek.

According to the eighteenth -century Scottish political economist Adam Smith the discovery of America, and that of a passage to the East Indies via the Cape of Good Hope, were the ‘’two greatest and most important events recorded in the history of mankind.” Narratives of  European expansion have often focused on the economics of colonial production, or more recently, the entanglements which arose following European contact with indigenous peoples. This one day interdisciplinary conference will take a different perspective. Hence, rather than exploring how Dutch interventions shaped overseas trading places and colonial settlements we will instead focus on how the flow of new and or exotic foodstuffs and other commodities which entered Dutch ports in increasing quantities during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries altered the practices of everyday life in the  Dutch Republic.  How, for example, did the introduction of tea, coffee, sugar, spices, tobacco, and other narcotics transform diets, personal habits, and household practices in Dutch  towns and cities?  Can differences be seen in consumption practices between cosmopolitan coastal towns and cities and those further inland? Where there similar, or more profound differences in terms of the adoption of smoking and the drinking of hot beverages between urban and rural populations? How did the habits of the elite differ from those of the brede middenstand, or the underclasses, in all of these settings?

This day has been organised to honour the work Carmel Schrire, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University. Professor Schrire will offer the keynote address and there will be a reception to launch the publication of her book, Historical Archaeology in South Africa: Material Culture of the Dutch East India Company at the Cape  (Left Coast Press, 2014).

We invite up to six speakers to examine how archaeology, documentary history, and art history can shed new light on the transformation from late-medieval to early modern patterns of consumption in early modern Amsterdam and the Dutch Republic. Notes for contributors:

Papers are invited to consider, but need not be limited to the following questions.  Is it correct to see the impact of these new commodities and the possibilities of global trade as a homogenous and homogenizing process?  Or can we expose more particular and variegated local histories? How did cost and the availability of commodities influence consumption practices?  Is it possible to trace different trajectories and chronologies for the adoption and use of these new goods and substances in the towns and the countryside?  And what part did the notion of taste play in determining the habits of the rich and the poor, or other self-defined social groups, such as religious congregations?

For those interested in participating an abstract (c. 150 words; 30 minutes) must be submitted before 31 January 2015 and send to Odette Haex, Conference Secretary: O.M.C.Haex@uva.nl

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