Pomona College Lecture to Examine Food in Japan During WWII


CLAREMONT — A distinguished historian of Japanese and food studies, Katarzyna Cwiertka, will deliver this year’s Ena Thompson Lectures on Tuesday, April 7, at 11 a.m. and Thursday, April 9, at 4 p.m. at Pomona College (Rose Hills Theatre, Smith Campus Center, 170 E. Sixth St., Claremont).

The “Hunger for Victory: Food in the Asia-Pacific War” series will explore food and its political and social implications in Japan before, during and after World War II in two separate lectures.

Katarzyna Cwiertka

Katarzyna Cwiertka

In the April 7 talk, “Restraint and Indulgence: Eating Out in Wartime and Postwar Japan,” Cwiertka will examine the impact of the war and food shortages on dining out, which since the 1930s had become increasingly popular in urban Japan.

The second lecture, “From Churchill’s Gift to Whisky and Beer: Feeding the Troops in Asia and the Pacific During World War II,” on April 9 will focus on the crucial role food supplies had not only on the well-being and comfort of the Japanese and Allied soldiers, but also on military strategy and the outcome of the war itself.

Cwiertka is a professor of Japanese studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Her first book, “Modern Japanese Cuisine: Food, Power and National Identity,” published in 2006, was followed by “Cuisine, Colonialism and Cold War: Food in Twentieth-Century Korea and Critical Readings on Food in East Asia.”

She has done research in Japan, Korea and the U.S. and has organized conferences and workshops on Asian food on a wide range of topics, including Japanese cuisine in the West and food in zones of conflict.

The lectures, which are free and open to the public, are sponsored by the Pomona College History Department and the Ena H. Thompson Endowment. Thompson endowed these annual lectures in 1980 to encourage a broader understanding and appreciation of history.

The visiting lecturers are elected both on the basis of their past contributions to the discipline and of the importance of their current research in advancing the field.

Generally offered in the spring semester, the lectureship brings a distinguished historian to the Pomona College campus for a week of intensive interaction with students, faculty and alumni.

For more information, call (909) 607-3075.



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