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Chi P. Pham
Indian Eating in Vietnam: Vietnamese Nationalism and Colonial Discourses of Civilization

This talk emphasizes the Vietnamese writings about the Indian diasporic population’s “bodily process”. The “bodily processes” include food practices, smell, disease, sexuality and death. These everyday banalities, according to Lupton, threatened the process of civilization – the cleanness, purity, rationality, stability, culture, order, and morality – because they were associated with the “animality,” wildness, dirtiness, temporariness, and subservience to the flesh. These factors, in other words, are always causing the most trouble in the “civilized veneer of the human subject” (Lupton 3). Relying on various resources of newspapers, literature, archives and interviews with Indian diasporic members, the talk argues that the marginalization of the Indian diaspora’s eating is a supplement of the formation and empowerment of Vietnamese nationalism that has been driven by ideologies of Western civilization.

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