On the cover of this issue, the dinner table, the place of conviviality, is also shown as a space of power and exclusion, of seated White male corporate officers attended by Black waiters standing in the background. In the opening article, we read a quote from US senator Elizabeth Warren: “If you don’t have a seat at the table, you are probably on the menu.” Regardless of where one stood in the political storms of late 2020, it was clear that many people in the world had not yet had a chance to sit down at this proverbial table, while quite a few others were deeply worried about losing their places at it. Whether one was left sitting or standing, it was an anxious time for both groups: those who have enjoyed the fruits of economic well-being and political influence, and those who have yet to get a taste. Ultimately,...
James Farrer is Professor of Sociology and Global Studies at Sophia University in Tokyo. His research focuses on the contact zones of global cities, including ethnographic studies of sexuality, nightlife, expatriate communities, and urban food cultures. Recent publications include International Migrants in China’s Global City: The New Shanghailanders (Routledge), Shanghai Nightscapes: A Nocturnal Biography of a Global City (with Andrew Field, University of Chicago Press), and Globalization and Asian Cuisines: Transnational Networks and Contact Zones (editor, Palgrave). Current projects investigate community foodways in Tokyo (www.nishiogiology.org) and the spread of Japanese restaurant cuisine across diverse world regions (www.global-japanese-cuisine.org).
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James Farrer; Editorial Letter. Gastronomica 1 February 2021; 21 (1): iv–v. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2021.21.1.iv
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