Category Archives: 2018

2018/03

LOÏC BIENASSIS

La place et les usages du culinaire

De plaats van en vertogen over culinaire cultuur in de regionalistische Franse tijdschriften van de Belle Epoque (einde 19de- begin 20ste eeuw)

In welke mate heeft de regionalistische beweging in Frankrijk begin twintigste eeuw bijgedragen aan de ‘territorialisaton’ van verschillende gerechten en producten, of anders uitgedrukt, aan de totstandkoming van streekspecialiteiten? De invloed van deze beweging wordt regelmatig aangehaald door onderzoekers, maar is nooit echt geanalyseerd en tevens ontbreekt een klare chronologie. Deze bijdrage steunt op de analyse van meerdere tijdschriften, uitgegeven tijdens de Belle Epoque, een periode
waarin het regionalisme opkwam en confirmeerde.
Deze bijdrage toont aan dat de meeste tijdschriften in de bestudeerde periode relatief weinig aandacht besteedden aan eetcultuur. Er zijn daarbij twee benaderingen: een eerste meer emotioneel en affectief, schakelde elementen uit de eetcultuur in bij het
creëren van een identiteit; een tweede meer utilitair beklemtoonde het economische en toeristische belang van streekproducten en gerechten voor de Franse provincies en regio’s.
Op een meer fundamenteel niveau versterken deze twee invalshoeken elkaar, evenwel wanneer ze de regionale keuken inschakelden in een discours dat gekenmerkt wordt door bezorgdheid en ongenoegen over de teloorgang van het Franse platteland en het verdwijnen van typische rurale tradities.

NELLEKE TEUGHELS

Eendracht maakt macht?

Unity makes strength? Culinary expressions of identity and power at the Brussels International Exhibition of 1935

This paper explores the complex semiotic meanings embedded in the choice and the representation of food served at the official banquets at the Brussels’ World Exhibition of 1935.
The aim is to investigate how food was used by the organizing elite as a political and diplomatic means of  expressing cultural identity, regional diversity and national unity. How did Belgium shape its national identity in this diplomatic arena? How did the country deal with the increasing tensions between the Flemish and Walloon linguistic communities? And to what extent do local economic factors possibly play a role in the
choice for certain ingredients or dishes?

SAAR NIERMEIJER

Aardappelen met een “brave Nederlandse gehaktbal” en spruitjeslucht

Potatoes with a decent Dutch meatball and a whiff of sprouts air

The ‘bad’ Dutch cuisine and the tastelessness of ‘the Dutchman’, they form recognizable and seemingly self-evident elements of contemporary Dutch culture. Even in Dutch food historiography, this negative assessment of the Dutcheating habits is often repeated or even endorsed, while the construction of images underlying this myth
remains unquestioned. Therefore this article does focus on how culinary journalist Wina Born contributed to the creation and reproduction of this negative national self-image in her texts for the magazine Avenue between 1965 and 1980. During the major cultural and culinary changes of the sixties and seventies in the Netherlands Born was an important mediator between the growing middle class, ‘foreign foods’ and gastronomy.
In her texts for Avenue she developed a cosmopolitan and critical culinary discourse within which taste hierarchies were made and culinary capital was allocated to ingredients, restaurants and foreign cuisines. A qualitative analysis of her culinary
reports and reviews shows that within this discourse ‘the Netherlands’ always functioned as the unique ‘bad’ opposite of the refined and often ‘foreign’ eating habits she advised to her readers. In this way the article provides insight into the functioning
of the negative national self-image as strategy for social distinction. By rejecting the Dutch cuisine and the taste of ‘the Dutchman’, users of the self-image such as Born, show that they, in contrast to the average Dutch person, are able to distinguish what is
tasteful and what is not. In addition, the article shows the flexibility and longevity of the myth, because, even when the eating habits of the Dutch began to differentiate more in the seventies, the negative national selfimage retained its distinctive function in the culinary discourse of Born.

ALBENA SHKODROVA

Investigating yhe history of meanongs of a dish

Hoe de betekenis van een gerecht doorheen de tijd verandert
Een enactivistische benadering van de biografie van de Russische salade in Bulgarije in de 20ste eeuw

Dit artikel onderzoekt de geschiedenis van het gerecht “Russische salade” en de betekenis ervan in Bulgarije in de 20ste eeuw, namelijk de opkomst ervan als een feestelijk gerecht met de status van een culinair icoon, overgenomen van modieuze Russische immigranten, waarna die status geleidelijk verloren  ging en het gerecht werd opgenomen in de doordeweekse lokale voedseltraditie. Om deze evolutie te verklaren past de auteur een voor food studies experimentele methode toe: de enactivistische theorie, die in de voorbije jaren door cognitieve filosofen werd ontwikkeld. Zij betoogt dat het niet-reducerende naturalistische kader van deze theorie
een antwoord kan bieden op tot nu toe ongrijpbare en belangrijke vragen, zoals de dynamiek van sociale praktijken en de rol van het lichaam bij de betekenisgeving.
Door de enactivistische benadering te gebruiken bij het bestuderen van de geschiedenis van de betekenissen van een gerecht, toont zij het potentieel ervan aan om het leven van sociale praktijken en autonomie van historische processen van
betekenisgeving te verklaren.

GREET DRAYE

Bollen en boterkoeken

‘Boules’ and butter biscuits The heritagisation of two Dixmude specialties

Visit Flanders, the Flemish-Brussels Tourist Office, promotes ‘IJzerbollen’-
a kind of pastry with pudding – and ‘Boterkoeken’- buttery viennoiserie – as well known specialties from the small town of Diksmude in West-Flanders. As if they have always
existed and everybody associates them with Diksmude. That is not the case: ‘Boterkoeken’ enjoy a much wider fame than ‘IJzerbollen’. Research in cooking books, culinary periodicals, picture libraries and oral history deciphers how both sweets
became to be seen as heritage and hints on explaining the difference. Culinary identities are created, as are all identities. The association between a dish and a location is manmade. The creation of culinary identities is to be seen as heritagisation. That term is used to describe the process within which a community redefines the
meaning of (im)material heritage. That new meaning provides the community with an identity. The process often takes place in times of uncertainty and change, to create
a hold. In the case of food, a dish or an ingredient gets an addition referring to a place, home, or ‘better days in the past’. The context of the heritagisation is variable, as are the communities that act within the process. Conflicting identities are possible. Nothing is set forever. ‘Boterkoeken’ is a registered trademark since 1978. One determined
family of bakers took care of that registration. Since 1978 there has been nothing but continuity in the process of heritagisation. In the case of the ‘IJzerbollen’ the heritagisation community was far from close. At the same time, the heritagisation
timeline shows gaps: moments without the pastry as heritage. In 2011 the name ‘IJzerbollen’ got protection. That moment marked the humble start of the pastries renown. The power of a mark – in its widest sense – cannot be underestimated in the
process of heritagisation, as can’t a close and growing community and the continuity of the process.

CHANTAL BISSCHOP en ARNE DE WILDE

Gebakkelei over de Geeraardsbergse mattentaart. De identiteitsconstructie en een streekproduct

Wrangling about the ”Geraardsbergse mattentaart”
The identity construction of a regional product

In this article the evolution of the identity construction of the ‘Geraardsbergse mattentaart’ is being analyzed. The authors explore the multiple, and often contradictory, histories and cultural dynamics instigated by this regional product.
After a short factual description of the local pie (and its recipe), they present
a historical sketch of the culture of the mattentaart, focusing on pivotal points in its evolution. In the second part, the authors analyze – on the basis of historical and journalistic sources, visual material and interviews – the discursive dynamics the mattentaart has initiated and the heritagisationstrategies operationalized to strengthen the identification claim on the product. The central question guiding their analysis is: How can a seemingly banal cake activate and invigorate an entire community and generate a never-ending stream of stories? It is argued whether precisely this processof heritagisation, which is surely applicable to other regional products,
constitutes the specificity of the culture of the mattentaart.

VEERLE VANDENDAELEN, LEEN BEYERS, SOFIE DE RUYSSER

Pleidooi voor meerstemmigheid. Antwerpse Handjes en Jodenvervolging

A plea for multiperspectivity
The Antwerp Hand cookies and the persecution of Jews

Jos Hakker was an enterprising confectioner in the Provinciestraat in Antwerp in 1934 when he launched a new specialty: the Antwerp Handje. A box of Antwerp Hand cookies is the most famous tourist souvenir of the city of Antwerp today. When you
open a box of Antwerp Handjes, you discover – next to the cookies – the legend of the giant Antigoon who had lifted toll on the River Scheldt until the Roman soldier Brabo chopped off his hand … after which the city of Antwerp started to flourish thanks to free trade. Less known is the fact that Jos Hakker was of Jewish Dutch  origin and that he and his family were victims of the persecution of Jews during the Second World War.
This aspect of history has never been discussed in the broad marketing and communication concerning the Antwerp Handje. The marketing of regional products
asks for some multiperspectivity. All the more because the Antwerp Hands cookies became truly successful in the 1950s and 1960s, at a time when  even Jews who survived the war kept silent about the Holocaust. The reasons for this lack of attention for the inventor can be understood from this context, but today we think it is extremely relevant to tell not only the legend but also the story of Jos Hakker, and particularly the story of his persecution and his resilience as a Jew and a confectioner in Antwerp.
That is why we strongly suggest a new text in the brochure about the Antwerp Hand cookies.

 

Category: 2018, Summaries

2018/02

LIESBETH GEUSSENS, Onroerende goederen – Emotionaliteit en betekenisgeving in -estamenten van Leuvense mannen en vrouwen, 1770-1780

Emotional goods Sensitivity and signification intestaments of Louvain men and women,1770-1780

Historians studying emotions have recently been using last wills to research the emotional implications of material culture and social networks. In this regard, this article
tries to show in what way and to which extent the citizens of Leuven who formulated their last will between 1770 and 1780, expressed their affections in these highly personal documents. The author has analysed the separate bequests and how they
are phrased, the beneficiaries and their relationship to the testator, and other stipulations, of which religious depositions are most important. This contribution shows that the Leuven  citizens of the late 18th century were indeed concerned with expressing emotions in their will. They did so in relation to both the objects they
bequeathed and the beneficiaries.
By governing the destination of their individualized possessions and by passing on family memory, the testators tried to uphold their own identity as well as the identity of the family.

Category: 2018, Summaries

2018/01

Posted on by

Thijs and the study of devo¬tional prints
The late professor Alfons Thijs was an expert in the field of devotional prints from Antwerp (17th-19th Cen¬turies). After his death the university library of Antwerp acquired more than 1.000 prints, related to the city. The library made its ‘Thijs Collec¬tion’ available on line http://anet.be/ opac/opacuactobj. The first part of this article stresses Thijs’ scientific research and publications and shows Thijs as a collector of all sorts of devotional prints. The second part is devoted to the history of the research of this print work. It starts with Adolf Spamer’s Das kleine Andachtsbild vom XIV. bis zum XX. Jahrhundert (1930). The first study dealing with Antwerp was published in the same year: Les images de dévotion anversoises du XVle au XIXe siècle by Emile Van Heurck. They mainly studied their object in a ‘rather’ traditionally historical way: printers, print methods, iconography, taxonomy and functions. Since the turn of the millennium and the rise of ‘material Christianity studies’ de¬votional prints are looked at in a new way: the focus is now on the function¬ing of the object in everyday life and in the construction of the religious identity of the user. The article closes off with the presentation of some new research results of this recent meth-odology.

Learning by attention
Visiting and commemorating the dead in the Aymara culture and the Low Countries
The text starts with a short compara¬tive reflection – commemorating the dead in the Low Countries versus what indigenous groups do in “the Andes”– and gradually concentrates on visiting and commemorating practices among Bolivian Aymara families, in order to reflect upon some philosophical-anthropological considerations about what social life might be, in its broad¬est sense. In a concrete way, this ar¬ticle is about their visiting, honouring and commemorating the dead (and in a certain way also being visited by them). It will show how “the social component” always is intimately en¬tangled with “the ecological element” in an ever-extending meshwork of life-embracing relations, much clear¬er than in our traditions. The article analyses how the Aymara carry on their lives –“socialize”– in intense and attentive ways, not only with their guiding ancestors but also, in a very related way, with other inhabitants and elements of the world, such as animals, sacred places and protecting mountains. This proposal also urges us to ask ourselves about the learning dynamics involved here: how people, through these visiting and com¬memorating practices, learn to cul¬tivate and cherish “attention” for the interwovenness of all life processes and for the way human life lines “cor¬ respond” with other lines of life. This “attention” is vital in many senses. Both questions, the entanglement of the social and the ecological elements and the education through attention-enhancing practices of exposure, can be asked about other places, such as Flanders and the Netherlands, taking into account the different contexts, elaborations and accentuations.

Ma’nene’ or how to keep the dead alive?
In this article the author brings us to Toraja, a mountainous area in South Sulawesi (Indonesia). The ancestral belief of the inhabitants led/leads to extensive funeral rites. The Dutch col¬onisation from the beginning of the 20th century onwards slowly but sure¬ly influenced these rituals. Still, the touristic scene discovered this place in the seventies and since then Toraja is a well visited region, due to these still extensive rituals, as the tourists are welcome at the burial feasts. Recently, tourists are now also visiting a ceremony that was largely a private matter. During the ma’nene’ ceremony the family of the deceased take the coffin out of the tomb to clean the grave. Meanwhile they open the coffin and give the mummified corpse new clothes, food and ciga¬rettes. At the end of the ceremony the coffin is put back in the grave. The fact that this kind of second funeral is being promoted as a touristic high¬light by the local touristic office can either be a danger or an opportunity for this ceremony.
The author explores how dark tourism and ma’nene’ can influence one another in a region where Christi¬ Christi-anity is the major religion, but where the inhabitants also keep up some of the ancestral rituals, closely connect¬ed to religion.

Intangible Heritage & The Muse¬um in an age of superdiversity
In this article the authors focus on the question of how museums can find new roles in a more (ethnically) diversified society. The challenge of what English sociologist Steven Ver¬tovec has called the challenge of su-perdiversity is huge. This refers to a new demographic reality, a diver¬sification of diversity in which city populations are more dynamic than ever before. Where until recently the challenge was mainly restricted to the integration of a limited group of mi¬grants in a dominant ‘white’ heritage discourse, we now see much more di-versification in which the notion of majority versus minority cultures is no longer relevant.
For the intangible heritage sec¬tor the focus on superdiversity opens new perspectives to interpret intan¬gible heritage from a more dynamic, global perspective – heritage that is always on the move and becomes meaningful in ever changing fluid contexts. This focus shows that intan¬gible heritage is NOT being carried by stable homogeneous groups, „dis¬tinct from the rest of society and lost in time”, as Ramon de la Combé once provocatively formulated it. Instead, heritage is about dynamics, flow and fusion. It is determined by multiple perspectives. For museums the focus on intan¬gible heritage may open ways of deal¬ing with superdiversity. The focus on intangible heritage implies a shift from ‘heritage preservation’ to ‘safe¬guarding heritage’ and ‘heritage in the making’, and a shift from ‘heritage of the past’ to ‘heritage in the present and future’ – for intangible heritage is by definition contemporary, dy¬namic culture. ‘Participatory collect¬ing’, ‘connecting people’, ‘listening to multiple networks around intangible heritage’ and ‘being part of these net¬works’ are the important key words. Through co-creations between museums and the bearers of intangi¬ble heritage museums can support the safeguarding of heritage while at the same time they will draw attention to the superdiversity of society. Co-creation offers opportunities to nego¬tiate intangible heritage among dif¬ferent stakeholders (amongst which the museums themselves) and to de¬velop heritage for the future. It is an open ended, experimental approach towards intangible heritage, for what we would like to call a network-labo¬ratory approach.

Category: 2018, Summaries