SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Dr Jakob Klein

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications

Overview

Jakob Klein
Department of Anthropology and Sociology

MA Tutor

SOAS Food Studies Centre

Chair, SOAS Food Studies Centre

SOAS China Institute

Academic Staff, SOAS China Institute

Name:
Dr Jakob Klein
Email address:
Telephone:
020 7898 4428
Address:
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Building:
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
564
Academic Support Hours:
See bio for details

Biography

Office Hours, Term 3 (2021/2022)

In person: By appointment only

Online: Fridays, 9-10 am. Drop-in only, no appointments please.

Link: https://soas-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/97880090970pwd=aS9wTjhmY2lGMmRuTGFkWmpCZ1VGQT09
Passcode: imvEQBcTk1

Office hours are held in term time only.

Teaching

Programmes Convened
Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Anna Colquhoun, Food and tourism in Istria: Local specialities and the construction of a region (working title)
  • Chenjia Xu,
  • Elizabeth Carla Smith, Cosmopolitan Creatives: Asian Self-Making and Consumption in London (working title)
  • Hannah Bennett, Golf Course Culture in China: An Exploration of Gender, Class, and Social Stratification (working title)
  • Lu Qiao, Chinese Cosmetic Surgery Tourism in Seoul: Body Politics, Transnationalism and Decentralised Centralism
  • Marie Launay-Smirnov, Around the Monastic Table: The Experience of Monastic Food for Retreat Participants in France (working title)
  • Pascale Pean, The Taste of Home: Identity and Resistance in Haitian-American Food
  • Pauline Harlay, Tea, Taste and Traders: Cultural Mediators and the Reinvention of the Chinese ‘Traditional’ Beverage (working title)
  • Theodore Parker Charles, Crossing Borders; The Evolution of Food Traditions in Post-Ottoman Thrace
  • Wanlin Lu, Food, care and the digital sphere: Community group buying (shequ tuangou) in urban China
  • Xinru Li, Mango TV as Youths’ CCTV - An Ethnography of Youths, Media and Nation
  • Yuqi Wang, Between secularity and religiosity: a Buddhism-oriented town in Mainland China (working title)

Research

Since the late 1990s, I have sought to document and understand cultural transformations in contemporary China through the lens of food. I have simultaneously sought to shed light on Chinese perspectives on the global challenges of our contemporary food systems, including food safety, the future of regional foodways, environmental degradation, and the politics of meat-eating. To these ends, I have carried out ethnographic fieldwork in marketplaces, restaurants, kitchens, farms, and factories, primarily in and around the cities of Guangzhou, Guangdong Province and Kunming, Yunnan Province.

One strand of my research is concerned with regional cuisines and local foods. I have investigated reinventions of Cantonese teahouses and restaurant cuisine in Guangzhou under radical state socialism and market reforms, the heritagization of a local goat-milk cheese (rubing) in Yunnan, and how a national, party-state project to promote the potato as a Chinese staple food has been taken up by local officials, agribusinesses, food writers, and other actors in economically marginal, traditional potato-producing regions. I am also interested in the role of transregional and transnational migration in the transformation of Chinese cuisines.

Another research strand investigates food safety and food ethics. For example, I have studied how urban residents in Kunming have discussed their concerns about food safety, quality, and taste and addressed them in everyday practices of sourcing and cooking food. I have also written about more organized attempts, by environmental NGOs and businesses, to transform urban eating habits and food ethics and to establish direct links with rural smallholders.

Throughout my research, I have paid close attention the role of changing food cultures in the dynamics of social relations and inequalities, along lines such as class, gender, ethnicity, state power, regional differentiation, and urban-rural divides.

Expertise

For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email enterprise@soas.ac.uk.
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email press@soas.ac.uk

Available for
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Press
  • Briefings
  • Special Study Programmes
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
Regional Expertise
  • East Asia
Country Expertise
  • China
Languages
  • Chinese Mandarin
  • Swedish

Publications

Articles

Klein, Jakob A. (2020) 'Ambivalent Regionalism and the Promotion of a New National Staple Food: Reinventing Potatoes in Inner Mongolia and Yunnan'. Global Food History, (6) 2, pp 143-163.

Klein, Jakob A. (2019) 'Eating potatoes is patriotic: state, market and the common good in contemporary China'. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, (48) 3, pp 340-359.

Klein, Jakob A. (2018) 'Heritagizing Local Cheese in China: Opportunities, Challenges, and Inequalities'. Food and Foodways, (26) 1, pp 63-83.

Staples, James and Klein, Jakob A. (2016) 'Consumer and Consumed'. Ethnos, (82) 2, pp 193-212.

Klein, Jakob A. (2016) 'Buddhist Vegetarian Restaurants and the Changing Meanings of Meat in Urban China'. Ethnos, (82) 2, pp 252-276.

Klein, Jakob A. (2013) 'Everyday approaches to food safety in Kunming'. The China Quarterly, (214), pp 376-393.

Klein, Jakob A. (2013) '“There is no such thing as Dian cuisine!” Food and local identity in urban Southwest China'. Food and History, (11) 1, pp 203-225.

Klein, Jakob A. (2009) 'Creating ethical food consumers? Promoting organic foods in urban Southwest China'. Social Anthropology, (17) 1, pp 74-89.

Klein, Jakob A. (2008) 'Afterword: Comparing Vegetarianisms'. South Asia Journal of South Asian Studies, (31) 1, pp 199-212.

Klein, Jakob A. (2007) 'Redefining Cantonese cuisine in post-Mao Guangzhou'. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, (70) 3, pp 511-537.

Edited Books or Journals

Klein, Jakob A. and Watson, James L., (eds.), (2016) The Handbook of Food and Anthropology. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Staples, James and Klein, Jakob A., (eds.), (2016) Ethnos – Volume 82, Issue 2 (2017): Includes the Theme Issue: Consumer and Consumed: Humans and Animals in Globalising Food Systems. London: Taylor & Francis.

Jung, Yuson and Klein, Jakob A. and Caldwell, Melissa L., (eds.), (2014) Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Klein, Jakob A. and Murcott, Anne, (eds.), (2014) Food Consumption in Global Perspective: Essays in the Anthropology of Food in Honour of Jack Goody. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Latham, Kevin and Thompson, Stuart and Klein, Jakob A., (eds.), (2006) Consuming China: approaches to cultural change in contemporary China. London; New York: Routledge.

Book Chapters

Klein, Jakob A. (2020) 'Transformations of Chinese Cuisines'. In: Latham, Kevin, (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Chinese Culture and Society. London: Routledge, pp 376-394.

Watson, James L. and Klein, Jakob A. (2016) 'Introduction: Anthropology, Food and Modern Life'. In: Klein, Jakob A. and Watson, James L., (eds.), The Handbook of Food and Anthropology. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp 1-27.

Klein, Jakob A. (2015) 'Eating Green: Ecological Food Consumption in Urban China'. In: Kim, Kwang Ok, (ed.), Re-Orienting Cuisine: East Asian Foodways in the Twenty-First Century. New York; Oxford: Berghahn, pp 238-262.

Klein, Jakob A. (2014) 'Connecting with the Countryside? "Alternative" Food Movements with Chinese Characteristics'. In: Jung, Yuson and Klein, Jakob A. and Caldwell, Melissa L., (eds.), Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp 116-143.

Klein, Jakob A. (2014) 'Introduction: Cooking, Cuisine and Class and the Anthropology of Food'. In: Klein, Jakob A. and Murcott, Anne, (eds.), Food Consumption in Global Perspective: Essays in the Anthropology of Food in Honour of Jack Goody. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Klein, Jakob A. and Jung, Yuson and Caldwell, Melissa L. (2014) 'Introduction: Ethical Eating and (Post)socialist Alternatives'. In: Jung, Yuson and Klein, Jakob A. and Caldwell, Melissa L., (eds.), Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp 1-24.

Klein, Jakob A. and Pottier, Johan and West, Harry G. (2012) 'New Directions in the Anthropology of Food'. In: Fardon, Richard and Harris, Olivia and Marchand, Trevor H.J. and Nuttall, Mark and Shore, Cris and Strang, Veronica and Wilson, Richard A., (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Social Anthropology. London: SAGE Publications Ltd, pp 293-302.

Klein, Jakob A. (2009) 'Chinese meals: diversity and change'. In: Meiselman, Herbert L., (ed.), Meals in science and practice: interdisciplinary research and business applications. Cambridge: Woodhead, pp 452-482.

Klein, Jakob A. (2008) '"For eating, it’s Guangzhou": regional culinary traditions and Chinese socialism'. In: West, Harry G. and Raman, Parvathi, (eds.), Enduring Socialism: Explorations of Revolution and Transformation, Restoration and Continuation. Oxford; New York: Berghahn.

Klein, Jakob A. (2006) 'Changing Tastes in Guangzhou: Restaurant Writings in the Late 1990s'. In: Latham, Kevin and Thompson, Stuart and Klein, Jakob A., (eds.), Consuming China. Approaches to Cultural Change in Contemporary China.. London; New York: Routledge, pp 104-120.

Latham, Kevin (2006) 'Powers of Imagination: The Role of the Consumer in China's Silent Media Revolution'. In: Latham, Kevin and Thompson, Stuart and Klein, Jakob A., (eds.), Consuming China. Approaches to Cultural Change in Contemporary China.. London: Routledge, pp 82-103.

 

This list was last generated on Saturday, 21st May 2022, 17:46 Europe/London.