In light of increasing media attention and commercial interest in documenting Chinese cuisine, this article examines the presentation of food in today's mainstream Chinese media and the effects of its aesthetics in China and around the globe. Identified herein are the various stages of what I call a mediated discursive transformation of China's foodscape and culinary heritage in the globalization era, which started with an upsurge of gastronomic writing in China's print media and is being furthered by a generation of globally conscious Chinese elites. To examine the mediated process of Chinese cuisine under the influence of globalization and, particularly, the impact that the transforming Chinese food media may have on its local and indigenous foodscape, I conducted ethnographic fieldwork on the local, humanistic street food culture of Chongqing and the indigenous, halal cuisines of Lanzhou Muslim, and carried out a content analysis of the new Chinese food documentaries against a background of lively, sometimes heated, and growingly sophisticated arguments of Chinese viewers-turned-bloggers over the aesthetic choices made in these films.
China's Emerging Food Media: Promoting Culinary Heritage in the Global Age
Lanlan Kuang is a U.S. Fulbright Scholar specializing in the arts and humanities of China. She has a PhD in Folklore and Ethnomusicology from Indiana University and teaches aesthetics at the University of Central Florida's Philosophy Department. Kuang is a CEFLA distinguished fellow appointed by China's Ministry of Culture for her contributions to safeguarding folk arts and heritage culture and a distinguished fellow of Shanghai University's Key Research Institutes in Humanities and Social Sciences (Cultural and New Media Development). She is the author of a book on the expressive arts from along the Silk Road, Dunhuang Performing Arts: The Construction and Transmission of “China-scape” in the Global Context (Social Science Academic Press, 2016).
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Lanlan Kuang; China's Emerging Food Media: Promoting Culinary Heritage in the Global Age. Gastronomica 1 August 2017; 17 (3): 68–81. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2017.17.3.68
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