Nir Avieli

Nir Avieli
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev | bgu · Department of Sociology and Anthropology

DR

About

35
Publications
17,541
Reads
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1,404
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2015 - November 2015
University of Tours
Position
  • Professor
March 2006 - present
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2004 - December 2005
National University of Singapore
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (35)
Article
Every May, the African Hebrew Israelite Community (AHIC), a transnational millenarian group with its headquarters in the Israeli desert town of Dimona, celebrates its most important festival, “New World Passover.” Commemorating their exodus from “the land of the great captivity” (the US) to Israel, the colorful, joyful event has a striking culinary...
Article
In the heritage site of Luang Prabang, Laos, international and local stakeholders employ the practices and rhetoric of conservation to constitute and reaffirm their belonging to imagined national communities. By negotiating with each other the preservation of old houses and temple rites, French heritage experts reaffirm the role of France as a univ...
Article
Full-text available
This article, based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Luang Prabang, Laos, since 2006, expands the analysis of the conflicts and divergent interpretations regarding non-Western UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We suggest that the Buddhist temples of Luang Prabang, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1995, may best be understoo...
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This article grapples with the unlikely combination of veganism, righteous black bodies, and servitude as expressed in the “divine holistic culture” of the African Hebrew Israelite Community (AHIC). Based on our ethnography of how the Community re-scripts strong, virile black male bodies from rough brutes to responsible and righteous patriarchs, we...
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This article examines the construction of authenticity through vernacular architecture at the World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang, Laos. Our findings suggest that the rhetoric of authenticity is part of the larger matrix of knowledge and power that enables UNESCO to impose its world-views on non-Western countries and to create facts on the ground...
Chapter
Kiêng kỵ, literally “forbidden [from the] heart”, is the term used in Vietnam when referring to taboos, yet the sense of complete prohibition associated with taboos in Western cultures is incompatible with Vietnamese food cosmology. Based on ethnographic research conducted in the central Vietnamese town of Hoi An since the late 1990s, this chapter...
Book
Drawing on ethnography conducted in Israel since the late 1990s, Food and Power considers how power is produced, reproduced, negotiated, and subverted in the contemporary Israeli culinary sphere. Nir Avieli explores issues such as the definition of Israeli cuisine, the ownership of hummus, the privatization of communal Kibbutz dining rooms, and foo...
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Full-text available
This paper reviews the transformation of meaning of food items central to African American fare from symbols of slavery to means of salvation as the African Hebrew Israelite Community (AHIC) live out their Biblically inspired lifestyle and perfect the vegan diet at its core. Although originating in Chicago in the late 1960s, for over 40 years the i...
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This article examines processes of othering in seven soup kitchens in Israel through participant observations as a staff-volunteer and as a diner. The empirical study of othering and otherness in relation to poverty is focused mainly on discourse analysis of texts that appeared in the media. This article contributes to this body of knowledge by ana...
Article
The state of Israel has been involved in a long-standing violent conflict with its Arab neighbors, yet Jews and Arabs share a culinary passion: hummus. This humble dip of mashed chickpeas seasoned with tahini and lemon juice is ubiquitous in Middle Eastern public and private culinary spheres and is extremely popular among Arabs and Israeli Jews and...
Article
Jews and Palestinians have long been involved in a violent conflict over territory, resources and national identity, yet share a culinary passion: Hummus. This dip of mashed chickpeas seasoned with tahini and lemon juice is ubiquitous in Middle Eastern public and private culinary spheres and is extremely popular among Arabs and Jews alike. In 2008...
Article
Por mucho tiempo, judíos y palestinos han estado involucrados en violentos conflictos por territorio, recursos e identidad nacional; sin embargo, comparten una pasión culinaria: el hummus. Este puré de garbanzos machacados, sazonado con tahini y jugo de limón, se encuentra en todos lados dentro de las esferas culinarias públicas y privadas, y es mu...
Article
Full-text available
Por mucho tiempo, judíos y palestinos han estado involucrados en violentos conflictos por territorio, recursos e identidad nacional; sin embargo, comparten una pasión culinaria: el hummus. Este puré de garbanzos machacados, sazonado con tahini y jugo de limón, se encuentra en todos lados dentro de las esferas culinarias públicas y privadas, y es mu...
Article
Full-text available
The title of UNESCO “World Heritage Site” is a much desired mark erof quality tourism. Yet social scientists rarely discuss the designation’s impact on specific locales, the programme’s effectiveness or its negative effects. Ethnographic fieldwork conducted at the World Heritage Site of Hội An in Vietnam since 1998 permits exploration of the practi...
Article
Italian Food in Israel: Longing for Europe in the Middle East Italian food is extremely popular in Israel, second only to the so called Mizrahi (oriental) cuisine. In this paper I explore the meanings attributed by Israeli-Jews to Italian food. I begin by outlining the unique process by which Italian food arrived in Israel. I then argue that Italia...
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Full-text available
Rice Talks explores the importance of cooking and eating in the everyday social life of Hoi An, a properous market town in central Vietnam known for its exceptionally elaborate and sophisticated local cuisine. In a vivid and highly personal account, Nir Avieli takes the reader from the private setting of the extended family meal into the public rea...
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Full-text available
There are some 200 tourist-oriented restaurants in the UNESCO world heritage site of Hoi An (Central Vietnam), all of which regularly feature a ‘Local Specialties’ section on their menus. Some of these dishes listed under this heading, however, are not unique to Hoi An nor to Central Vietnam, while others are of non-Vietnamese origins. Furthermore,...
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Barbequing meat is the main activity for most Israeli Jews celebrating the nation's Independence Day. It is a ritual without which the festival is incomplete, and beyond which not much is done. Identification with the nation-state is embodied through the consumption of meat that represents processed and refined chunks of Israeliness. But what is th...
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Chinese Food and Foodways in Southeast Asia and Beyond deals with the anthropology of food in Southeast Asia and, in particular, examines how variants of Chinese food are transferred, reproduced and localized by overseas Chinese communities. Almost all of the contributors to the volume are anthropologists. Yet this is hardly a typical ethnographic...
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In 1999 there were only two semi-clandestine dog-meat restaurants in Hoi An, a town in Central Vietnam. In 2004 there were dozens, serving mostly men of the new middle class. This article explores the sudden popularity of dog meat in Hoi An and discusses its meanings. Based on traditional forms, eating dog meat expresses masculinity. While class di...
Article
Every Christmas, the tiny Protestant community of Hoi An (central Vietnam) congregates and marks the day with a service, a short ceremony and a communal picnic in the church yard. In this article, based on anthropological fieldwork conducted in the town since 1998, the author explores the meanings of the culinary features of the event. By analysing...
Article
 This article explores the ways by which special dishes prepared for the Chinese community festivals in the Vietnamese town of Hoi An negotiate and expand the notions of ethnic identity and place of origin of migrant groups. Although the festivals stress specific regional identities in (Imperial) China, the food consumed in the communal feasts defi...
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Full-text available
Vietnamese banh Tet (New Year rice cakes) are the most prominent culinary icons of the most important Vietnamese festival. This article examines the sociocultural ideas of contemporary Vietnamese national identity expressed by these dishes, and explores the implicit and complex ways by which they take part in developing Vietnamese cultural identity...
Article
The common perception of food as a mere attraction in tourism is challenged by stressing the complications and impediments experienced by tourists in the local culinary sphere in unfamiliar destinations, even when attracted to the local cuisine. Hygiene standards, health considerations, communication gaps, and the limited knowledge of tourists conc...

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