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Liquid Conflict and Border Wines: A Political Tasting of Terroir and Territory across the Eastern Mediterranean

Border wines
Tuesday, March 29, 2022, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

The lecture is accompanied with wine tasting.

RSVP is required for non-CEU guests.

Abstract: Etymologically related, the concepts of terroir and territoriality display divergent cultural histories. While one designates the palatable characteristics of a place as a branded story of geographic distinction (goût de terroir), the other imbues the soil with political meaning, defendable boundaries, and collective entitlement. In this analytic tasting, we will trace the production of ethno-locality in contested spaces across political borders. Following the ascent of terroir as an organizing principle for the global wine culture and food industry, we'll examine the intersection of political geography, national identity, and cultural locality in the production of edible authenticity in the Eastern Mediterranean. Border wine regions from Syria and Lebanon to Israel/Palestine and Jordan illustrate the articulation of terroir as a gastro-political story of border-crossing. 

Daniel Monterescu is associate professor of urban anthropology and food studies at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, a Sommelier diploma (level 3, 2010, Italy), and is training for completion of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust diploma (Rust, Austria). He is the author of Jaffa Shared and Shattered: Contrived Coexistence in Israel/Palestine (Indiana UP, 2015), coauthor of Twilight Nationalism: Politics of Existence at Life's Edge (Stanford UP, 2018), and co-editor of Food and Settler Colonialism (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming). He is the PI of the Gerda Henkel Stiftung grant on “Lost Cities: The Social Life of Ruins in Israel/Palestine, 1882 to the Present” and is currently completing a book manuscript on Food and Borders. 

Monterescu’s work on conflict wine:

Monterescu, D. (2017). Border Wines: Terroir across Contested Territory. Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, 17(4), 127-140.

Monterescu and Handel. (2019). Liquid indigeneity Wine, science, and colonial politics in Israel/Palestine. American Ethnologist

Monterescu, D., & Handel, A. (2020). Terroir and Territory on the Colonial Frontier: Making New-Old World Wine in the Holy Land. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 62(2), 222-261.