Member Profile

Ashley Thuthao Keng Dam

Lecturer in Global Health , Maastricht University

Contributing Editor, Platypus, The CASTAC Blog

Research Interests

Cambodia | Digital Ethnography | Digital Fieldwork | Digital Food | Digital Health | Food | Gastronomy | Medical anthropology | Social Media | Traditional Medicine |

About Ashley Thuthao Keng

Ashley "Thao" Dam is a medical anthropologist, budding ethnobotanist, and lecturer in global health at Maastricht University (NL). Thao also writes, draws, photographs and speaks about food on under the name @ThaoEatWorld.



Contributions to Platypus, The CASTAC Blog

View all of Ashley Thuthao Keng's posts on Platypus, The CASTAC Blog.

Netlicks and Chill: Digitalization and Food Politics in Taste the TV (TTTV) Technology

Digital technologies have increasingly penetrated aspects of daily routines and practices — this has only been exacerbated by the conditions put forth by the COVID-19 pandemic. Technologies mediate experiences, thereby generating new forms of engagement with the world (Ihde, 1990). One arena of such digitalization and increased technological entanglement is food; over the last decades, the processes of procuring, growing, preparing, and eating foodstuffs have been inundated with new technologies (Lewis, 2018). From cooking robots and “smart” kitchen appliances to virtual online communities devoted to sharing food-related content and discussing food politics, interactions with food have transformed considerably. These transformations warrant additional inquiries into how food and surrounding processes of tasting and eating may manifest differently in accordance with such technologically-intertwined conditions. (more…) (read more...)

Cambodia in the time of COVID-19: Conceptions, perceptions, and approaches to the novel coronavirus

Editor’s note: This post is the first in our five-part series “COVID-19: Views from the Field.” Click here to read an introduction written by series organizer Rebekah Ciribassi. When I waved goodbye to my partner at Torino Caselle Airport in northern Italy on February 18th, 2020, I had no idea what was about to happen—people don’t tend to predict the eves of global pandemics. There were no particularly ominous signs to note, and I was heavily focused on the logistics of carrying out my PhD fieldwork in Cambodia.  My research focuses on seasonal variations of the use and consumption of traditional Khmer medicinal plants during maternity by rural women living in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. My aim is to identify medicinal plants used during different stages of pregnancy, how these medicinal plants are prepared as (or paired with) foods, and what the perceived effects of these traditional food-medicines have on (read more...)