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Taste Taiwan: Food Literature of Jiao Tong

Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles
Event organized by Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles

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Taste Taiwan: Food Literature of Jiao Tong, will feature famout food writer, Jiao Tong, known as the “Godfather” of food literature in Taiwan, with Ping-hui Liao, the Chuan-liu Chair Professor in Taiwan Studies at the Department of Literature of the University of California, San Diego.



廖炳惠教授現任聖地牙哥加州大學川流台灣研究講座(Chuan Lyu Endowed Chair Professor in Taiwan Studies)教授,廖炳惠用他的生活經驗入菜,以文化理論調味,佐以慾望、戀舊的情愫,並以故事貫通古今,最後端著後現代的大雜燴上桌,讓你細細品嘗後現代性(postmodernity)。


Jiao Tong

Born in Kaohsiung in 1956, Jiao Tong has published a poetry anthology The Total Sexual Reinvigoration Recipe and considers himself misidentified as a gastronomist, but continued on the “misguided” path of gastronomic literature. From there, Jiao founded a gastronomy magazine, held annual gastronomic literary selections, and contributed to the field for two decades. His works include Taste of Formosa, The Taste of Taiwan, The Belly of Taiwan, and his most recent book A Record of the Times of Vegetables and Fruits was published in August, 2017.

As a student, Jiao Tong refused to take the college entrance exam because he “could not withstand textbooks at all”, but eventually entered the Chinese Culture University as a theater major, and ended up getting a master’s degree from the school’s graduate school of the arts. After getting out of school and getting married, he decided he wanted even more education, and entered the PhD program in comparative literature at Fu Jen Catholic University. Jiao’s path from a kid refusing to take the college entrance exam to a university professor molded his unique literary style, trying to break cliches in poetry and to upset traditions.

The work that made Jiao’s name, The Total Sexual Reinvigoration Recipe triggered a revolution in sexual literature, transforming the kitchen into a place of lust and delicately weaving lust, food, and politics together with a serious but teasing voice. His other anthology of autobiographical poetry The Specimen of Youth, on the other hand, adopts a festive style to dissect dictatorship, the educational system, and mainstream culture. After this, Jiao began to focus on gastronomic literature in the hopes that the field can become one of his specialties.






Pin-Hui Liao

Ping-hui Liao is Chuan-liu Chair Professor in Taiwan Studies at the Department of Literature of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Prior to taking the chair professor position at UCSD, he was a Distinguished Professor at National Tsinghua University and also Director General of the National Science Council Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. He was also a visiting professor at Columbia University during the 2001-02 academic year and before that a visiting scholar at the Harvard-Yenching Institute in 1996-97 and Princeton University in 1991-92. He graduated from Tunghai University in 1976. He received his Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego in 1987.

Liao works primarily in the fields of comparative literature, postcolonial theory, and cultural studies. He is also interested in the study of opera, sister arts, and visual culture. He has written many books in Taiwanese, including At the Crossroad of Taiwan and World Literature, published in 2006, and Ways of Eating: Savoring Postmodernity, published in 2004. He has also edited Taiwan Under Japanese Colonial Rule, 1895-1945: History, Culture, Memory with David Der-wei Wang. Published by Columbia University Press in 2006, the volume was one of the first English studies of colonial Taiwan. In 2007, Liao and Wang organized a conference at Yale named Taiwan and its Contexts. The two intend to publish a volume documenting its findings. Liao also serves on the editorial collective of Public Culture.