Eating Together: Food, Space and Identity in Malaysia and Singapore
Food, Space and Identity in Malaysia and Singapore
Authors: Khoo Gaik Cheng and Jean Duruz
New Pb262 pp.
Subjects: Malaysia, Singapore, Social Studies
“Richly imagined and analyzed, Jean Duruz and Gaik Cheng Khoo explore what public eating spaces can tell us about contemporary nostalgia, cosmopolitanism, and localism. Eating Together takes us into the heart of the tastes, smells, sounds, and sights of public commonality in Singapore and Malaysia.”
—David Sutton, Southern Illinois University
“This book is a testament to the possibility of bringing together rich, sensuous writing with a sensible politics of eating-together-in-difference that avoids the dual traps of easy sentimentalism about palatal multiculturalism and cynicism about cross-cultural exchanges. That is a remarkable achievement that opens many sensory, ethical, and critical possibilities.”
—Krishnendu Ray, associate professor; chair, Department of Nutrition,
Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University
“This book astutely maps the ways in which the rich sedimentation of local culinary habits modify commodified globalization.”
FRSC, Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies
Accepting the challenge of rethinking connections of food, space, and identity within everyday spaces of “public” eating in Malaysia and Singapore, Jean Duruz and Gaik Cheng Khoo enter street stalls, hawker centers, markets, cafés, restaurants, “food streets,” and “ethnic” neighborhoods to offer a broader picture of the meaning of eating in public places. This book creates a strong sense of the ways different people live, eat, work, and relax together, and it also traces negotiations and accommodations in these dynamics. Ultimately, the book traces the political tensions of “different” people living together, and the search for home and identity in a world on the move. Simply put, Eating Together is about understanding complex forms of multiculturalism in Malaysia and Singapore through the mind, tongue, nose, and eyes.
Jean Duruz, PhD, is an adjunct senior research fellow at the Hawke Research Institute of the University of South Australia. Her research has been published in journals such as New Formations, Cultural Studies Review, and Gastronomica. She has also contributed to various anthologies, and recently she co-edited and contributed to special issues of Continuum and Cultural Studies Review.
Khoo Gaik Cheng, PhD, is associate professor of Film and Television Studies, University of Nottingham–Malaysia. She is the author of Reclaiming Adat: Contemporary Malaysian Film and Literature. She has published in Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Asian Cinema, South East Asia Research Concentric, and various anthologies, including Amanda Wise and Selvaraj Velayutham’s Everyday Multiculturalism. Her more recent publications appear in Asian Studies Review, Citizenship Studies, and anthologies.