About Me

About Me: brian L. Ta

I grew up in Vietnam, where street food is a significant part of the culture, where my paternal grandmother experienced relentlessly with cooking. My grandmother cooks by instinct, by vibrant and alive recipes negotiating from her mind to her hands. I miss my familial and local cuisines more than I can remember them. When I came to America, food becomes just a banal mechanism of sustenance; there are several reasons for this, linking to capitalist mentality of fast cuisines and fast consumption, unavailability of Vietnamese food in suburban places I reside, etc. My major at Dickinson is in the humanities; I needed a detour from excessive specialization; so I took this class. I become increasingly nostalgic of Vietnamese food, precipitated further by reading Professor Adrienne Su’s poetry collection Peach State (2020), the personal, historical, social, and geopolitical specificities of her relationship to Chinese(-American) food. The fragmentary things I have shared here do not relate blatantly to the scientific nature of our class; perhaps the relevance will come later on.

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