Lagman, miàn, pasta!

Basic grain & water, dough, recipes old and new.

Hand pulled, sliced, extruded…

with ingredients, sauces, broths simple and elaborate.

Rolled flat & stuffed

boiled and steamed dumplings, tortellinis…

Fresh, dried, baked as flatbreads and naans…

…over thousands of years and tens of thousands of li…

…the variations are as complex as the time/places of the various silk roads, Indian Ocean routes, and subway neighborhoods. Market-to-market translocal, and port-to-port trans-littorals the quest for umami taste profiles are passionate and compulsive, driving whole sectors of the global cultural economy of desire—at least as this trending moment. So what better time to explore?!?

Is this just an excuse to eat lots of noodles and dumplings (my favorite!)? Yes, it is! This basic research lab is immersive education in the most delicious, fully embodied sensate, and legal way possible. As we collectively traverse these many market to market transport and communication routes, we’ll learn about the secret ingredient to noodle making, the oldest noodle (Italian? or Chinese?), epic scale cultural exchanges, and what Genghis Khan did for modernity. We will examine the historical and ongoing impacts of the silk routes latitudinal and longitudinal movements throughout Central Asia on the vernacular cultures of global cities, such as the migrant friendly neighborhoods New York City. Mainly we’ll raise lots of questions and experiment with taste combinations to locate our respective “selves” and complicate our sense of “otherness.”

And yes this course is also historical and sopped in critical cultural practice theory, you can tell your parents, as a way to learn about cross-cultural communication challenges, intermingled spaces, and embodied knowledges and practices. Part of what is unarticulated yet implied by global cities is the compression of longue durees of times/spaces in one distinctive time/space. Besides slurping for mouth feel, understanding family broth recipes, and storytelling practices, we’ll be documenting, making, analyzing, and appreciating the worlds of noodle-dumpling practices and conveying our collaborative findings using the latest in mapping apps.