Loading Events

System + Taste: Food In Postcolonial Hawai‘i

Organizer: A/P/A Institute at NYU
Venue: Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU
8 Washington Mews
New York, NY 10003 United States
Get Directions
Add to Calendar 03/27/2014 06:00 PM 03/27/2014 08:00 PM America/New_York System + Taste: Food In Postcolonial Hawai‘i More detail: https://apa.nyu.edu/event/system-taste-food-in-postcolonial-hawaii/ Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, New York, NY, 10003

UPDATE: This program has reached full capacity. Please arrive on time to ensure to be seated as we overbook our events to ensure a full house. We will admit walk-ins as we are able to.

Image credit: Susan G. Monden, printed in June Gutmanis’s Kahuna La‘au Lapa‘au : The Practice of Hawaiian Herbal Medicine (1976).

Curated by Hi‘ilei Julia Hobart

How do colonial histories shape today’s sustainable food systems? The challenges surrounding Hawai‘i’s current food system have provoked critical attention to issues of land use and development, intersections between race and public health, and the importance of culturally and geographically specific food and agriculture. In this panel discussion, Hawai‘i serves as a case study for understanding the parameters of indigenous and settler foodscapes, and offers interdisciplinary perspectives on this complex issue. Kaori O’Connor discusses the anthropological and historical context for the development of taste and cuisine in colonial Hawai‘i; Amy Bentley argues for the theoretical application of “deliciousness” to address the societal failures of contemporary food systems; Ashley Lukens presents the application of tactical community food activism as a tool for food system development within a settler state.

RSVP by Tuesday, March 25 using the form below. 

Co-sponsored by Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health in NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.




Hi‘ilei Julia Kawehipua’akaha’opulani Hobart is a doctoral candidate in the NYU Food Studies program. She holds an MA in Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture from the Bard Graduate Center and an MLS in Archives Management and Rare Books from the Pratt Institute. Her research is concerned with how food and print media frames territorial occupation in nineteenth-century settler colonial contexts. Her dissertation research uses frozen water, or ice, to explore the politics of ingestion, representation, and materiality in colonial Hawai’i.

Amy Bentley is Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University. A historian with interests in the social, historical, and cultural contexts of food, she is the author of Eating for Victory: Food Rationing and the Politics of Domesticity (University of Illinois, 1998), editor of A Cultural History of Food in the Modern Era (Berg, 2011), and the author of several articles on such diverse topics as the politics of southwestern cuisine, a historiography of food riots, and the cultural implications of the Atkins diet. She is currently working on a cultural history of baby food. Bentley is also co-founder of the Experimental Cuisine Collective, an interdisciplinary group of scientists, food studies scholars and chefs who study the intersection of science and food. Professional activities include membership in the Association for the Study of Food and Society, where Bentley served as president from 2000 to 2002. She serves on the editorial boards for the journals Food and Foodways, Food, Culture and Society, and the Graduate Journal of Food Studies.

Ashley Lukens is the Director of RISE, a core program of Kupu. She enjoys building a program  that combines what she sees as two of the most pressing needs for Hawaii: sustainability and workforce development. Her priority is to create and support exciting and meaningful opportunities that move Hawaii toward a more sustainable future in every sector, while mentoring and working alongside Hawaii’s current and future leaders. She holds a BA in Women Studies and Economics from Vassar College. She will complete her PhD in Political Science at UH Manoa in July of 2013, where her research focuses on grassroots social movements, policy, and alternative food systems. Ashley recently sold her share of Baby Awearness, a small eco-friendly retail store in Manoa, and she currently serves as the Vice President of the Hawaii Food Policy Council. She is also a hui member of KYA Sustainability Studio where she blogs on sustainable finance.

Kaori O’Connor is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, University College London where she specializes in the anthropology and cultural history of food.  She is the author of The English Breakfast: The Biography of a National Meal (Bloomsbury 2013) and Pineapple: A Global History (Reaktion 2013).  Her book The Never-Ending Feast: The Anthropology and Archaeology of Feasting will be published by Bloomsbury in 2014.  She is the author of many journal articles on subjects such as shellfish, seaweed, the King’s Christmas pudding and the surprising global history of tapioca. Her study of The Hawaiian Luau: Food As Tradition, Transgression, Transformation and Travel won the prestigious Sophie Coe Prize for Food History (2009), and she is writing a book on the Hawaiian luau for the University of Hawaii Press. She is also an anthropologist of fashion, wrote for Vogue and is the author of Lycra: How A Fiber Shaped America (Routledge 2011).  She has four degrees in Social Anthropology (Reed College, Oxford University England, University College London). An Hawaiian from Hawaii, she loves Hawaiian food.