Event Report  Global Economy

Professor Cornelia Reiher Seminar "Food Safety in Japan from an Area Studies Perspective"

July 24, 2015, 14:00 - 15:30
Venue: CIGS Meeting Room3

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(Ms. Reiher, Dr. Yamashita from the left)

Seminar outline
Title: "Food Safety in Japan from an Area Studies Perspective"
Speaker: Cornelia Reiher, Assistant Professor for Japanese Society in the Graduate School of East Asian Studies at Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin)
Moderator: Kazuhito Yamashita, Research Director, Canon Institute for Global Studies


Abstract of the Speech
The ever-increasing complexity of the global agri-food system integrates East Asian countries into global contexts of action and meaning through trade, cultural transfers, labor division, everyday practices and environmental issues. Drawing on the example of Japan, this research focuses on linkages and ruptures between the global and the local, rural and urban areas and between Japan and East Asia. Because of the successive separation of spaces of production and consumption, consumers have to rely on the information about food provided by producers, retailers and public authorities. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for consumers to choose and evaluate the often contradictory information on food safety and nutrition. Accordingly, the central research question of this project is: What kind of information about food is provided by producers, retailers, governments, local authorities, and actors from civil society, to consumers? I argue that this knowledge and its appropriation by consumers not only has an impact on food consumption and production but also on the economy, culture and politics in Japan and East Asia overall. Therefore, this research project investigates how different actors create (new) space(s) through the politics of (knowledge of) food in Japan and East Asia.

Ms. Cornelia Reiher's profile
Cornelia Reiher is Assistant Professor for Japanese Society in the Graduate School of East Asian Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. She received her PhD from Leipzig University with a thesis on local identity and rural revitalization in Japan. Her current research focuses on globalization, food safety and food policies in Japan and the global agri-food system. Her recent publications include Lokale Identit und ldliche Revitalisierung. Die japanische Keramikstadt Arita und die Grenzen der Globalisierung [Local Identity and Rural Revitalization: The Japanese Ceramic Town Arita and the Limits of Globalization] and Umkpftes Essen Produktion, Handel und Konsum von Lebensmitteln in globalen Kontexten [Contested Food: Production, Trade and Consumption of Food in Global Contexts].