Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery Oral History Project

Interview with Sami Zubaida



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Technological University Dublin


Sami Zubaida, born Baghdad, Iraq in 1937 is Emeritus Professor of Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck, University of London and has held visiting positions in Cairo, Istanbul, Beirut, Aix-en-Provence, Berkeley CA, Paris and New York. His research interests include Middle East Politics, Religion and Law, Nationalism, Food and Culture. Professor Zubaida has attended all but one of the Oxford Symposiums on Food and Cookery and was first introduced to Alan Davidson and the Oxford cohort by Claudia Roden. In 1992 Sami organised a conference in SOAS on the culinary cultures of the Middle East, the papers were published in book form in1994. He is a regular contributor to the LMEI’s The Middle East in London magazine and has published extensively on the Middle East. Sami attended the two food conferences organised by the Halici family in Turkey, in both Istanbul and in Konya, which was influence by the Oxford Symposium. He is also a Professorial Research Associate of the Food Studies Centre, SOAS and has published widely on food and culinary cultures including 'Drink, meals and social boundaries', in Jakob A. Klein and Anne Murcott (eds), Food Consumption in Global Perspective: Essays in the Anthropology of Food in Honour of Jack Goody (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East (ed. with Richard Tapper, Tauris Parke, 2001). Sami also co-authored Food, Politics, and Society: Social Theory and the Modern Food System with Alejandro Colas, Jason Edwards, and Jane Levi (University of California Press, 2018).

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culinary history, oral history, interviews, gastronomy



Interview with Sami Zubaida