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Pān, a masticate, travelled west from South East Asia and from Peninsular South India to Northern India. In spite of the proliferation of the literature on the Indian Ocean World and substantial attention to pān in the public health domain, we know little about its historical and social significance, in contrast to the role of coffee and coffeehouses in the making of urban publics. Pān awaits its social historian who can read its material and archival remnants against the discursive weight of fashion and health.
Krishnendu Ray was the Chair of the department from 2012-2021. He is the author of The Migrant’s Table (2004) and The Ethnic Restaurateur (2016) and the co-editor of Curried Cultures: Globalization, Food and South Asia (2012). He was a faculty member and the Acting Associate Dean of Liberal Arts at The Culinary Institute of America (1996-2005). He was the President of The Association for the Study of Food and Society from 2014-2018. He is an Editorial Collective Member of the Food Studies journal Gastronomica, a Board member at the Southern Foodways Alliance, and a Chair of the James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards Committee. He worked with the artist Rirkrit Tiravanija on the Bastard Cookbook. The Odious Smell of Truth (2019) and Paul Ramirez Jonas on Eternal Flame. Smoke Signals at the Socrates Sculpture Park (2021). He recently co-edited two special issues, one on street food, and another on food in the Indian Ocean world: Fall 2023, Culinary Cultures on the Move. Verge Studies in Global Asias 9.2, https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/50261; and Feb 2021, Food, Culture & Society https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15528014.2020.1860454