15 December 2014
Why did an activity as mundane as tea preparation and drinking become one of the potent symbols of Japan? Drawing on her new book, Kristin Surak will explore the relationship between culture and nation in conversation with Fabio Gygi (SOAS) and Monika Krause (Goldsmiths). The discussion will examine the tension-filled transformation of the tea ceremony from an aesthetic pleasure of elite men to a hobby of housewives as it came to embrace not merely the privileged few, but the
nation as a whole, and probe the ways that tea masters have capitalized on the association
between tea and Japanese culture.
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Kristin Surak is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Japanese Politics at SOAS, University of London who specializes in international migration, nationalism, culture, and globalization.
Her book Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural Nationalism in Practice was published by Stanford University Press in 2013 and was the winner of the prestigious 2014 Outstanding Book Award American Sociological Association’s Section on Asia