Casey Lum

“Embedded in the quest for ways to preserve and promote heritage or human culture of any kind is an appreciation or a sense of an impending loss of a particular way of life – knowledge, skills set, traditions – deemed vital to the survival of a people or community. I have been intrigued in the recent years by how urban foodways can be understood as a form of human communication and intangible cultural heritage. While foodways places the production, procurement, preparation and sharing or consumption of food at an intersection among culture, tradition, and history, it is an important material and symbolic marker of identity, race and ethnicity, gender, class, ideology and social relations, a fascinating interdisciplinary subject for understanding the dynamics of human communication.”

Dr. Casey Man Kong Lum is a Professor of Communication at William Paterson University. His areas of research and teaching include media ecology, urban foodways and communication, media and globalization, media education, media ethnography, as well as Asian and Asian Pacific American media. Casey’s most recent book on Urban Foodways and Communication is a collection of ethnographic case studies of intangible cultural heritage in urban settings around the world with co-author Dr. Marc de Ferrière le Vayer at the University of Tours, France, where Dr. Lum was an Invited Professor in Spring 2016. An admirer of Lewis Mumford’s pioneering work in urban studies and the history of technical cultures, Casey is author-editor of Perspectives on Culture, Technology and Communication: The Media Ecology Tradition (Hampton, 2006), the winner of the 2006 Lewis Mumford Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Technics by the Media Ecology Association (MEA). His In Search of a Voice: Karaoke and the Construction of Identity in Chinese America (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996) is an ethnographic study of how three interpretive communities of immigrants engaged in social interaction in private and public places through karaoke singing. The author of numerous other academic journal articles and book chapters, Casey received the 2016 Walter Benjamin Award for Outstanding Article in the Field of Media Ecology by the MEA for his essay on “Media Ecology: Contexts, Concepts, and Currents” in Robert Fortner and Mark Fackler’s The Handbook of Media and Mass Communication Theory (Wiley-Blackwell).