PhD Candidate in Ecogastronomy, Education, and Society, Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche
Contributing Editor, Platypus, The CASTAC Blog
About Ashley Thuthao Keng
Ashley "Thao" Dam is a medical anthropologist, budding ethnobotanist, and final year PhD candidate in Ecogastronomy, Education, and Society at Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche in Pollenzo, Italy. Thao's doctoral research is focused on Khmer folk food-medicine use and consumption during times of ecological instability in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia -- for all times else, digital food and food media. Thao writes, draws, photographs and speaks about food on under the name @ThaoEatWorld.
Contributions to Platypus, The CASTAC Blog
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...)
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...)