Elites, Networks and Power in Modern China

Knowledge and Techniques in Modern Chinese Culinary Books
Huang Jian-Jie 黃健傑

The project titled "Knowledge and Techniques in Modern Chinese Culinary Books" will use culinary knowledge as a case study, exploring the manifestation of knowledge and technical exchange between traditional and modern, Chinese and Western cultures in culinary books. This research aims to uncover the historical significance of modern Chinese culinary culture while examining the impact of knowledge and technology in its construction, dissemination, and application. To achieve these goals, the project will integrate both digital and non-digital methods, conducting a comprehensive analysis of knowledge and techniques in books from macro and micro perspectives.

In terms of research methodology, the project will explore the application of digital humanities concepts, methods, and tools in historical research. The primary data sources include cooking and food-related books from the Republican era in China. To broaden the scope of the study, the majority of the data will undergo natural language processing and other computational methodologies, breaking away from traditional research approaches.

The research process involves digitizing and performing text recognition on cooking and food books from modern China. Subsequently, the results of text recognition will be transformed into analyzable corpora. Using R language (R-studio), the project will conduct text mining to extract relevant information, such as ingredients, cooking methods, utensils from cooking books, or food characteristics and dietary taboos from food-related books.

Ultimately, through these studies, the project aims to address the following questions:

1. Evolution of the knowledge system in modern China.

2. Diverse pathways of knowledge construction.

3. In-depth analysis of texts.

4. Characteristics of modern Chinese culinary culture.

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