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Cynthia and Pierre: political economists, professors, wine and food enthusiasts

We are always looking for new ways to combine romance, travel, and fieldwork. We met in Bangladesh studying economic development and we followed each other from country to country learning how people deal with economic challenges.

For years, we looked for research we could do together. We had never been to China, didn’t speak a word of the language, nor had we ever tasted Chinese wine. But as college professors whose teaching and research careers focused on economic development, the idea of Chinese wine and the ways local governments had embraced it to attract investment and create jobs, sometimes in the middle of nowhere, was too appealing. At last, we had found a research project that involved eating and drinking. Cynthia asks nosy questions. Pierre studies language. We both look for adventures with new friends, new food and new wines.

We published a book about our Chinese wine adventures. Beyond China we love all things wine, especially the people stories behind it. We love wine because it connects farms and cities, rich and poor, local to global, art to science. Whatever important issues you care about in the world, poverty, human rights, sustainability, diversity, etc. there’s wine (and a story) to pair with that.

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter for updates on our work!

Pierre being mixed French Vietnamese, we were thrilled to find out that years after a pretty bad first impression, Chateau Dalat, tasted in 2018 while on a family visit, turned out fine!

Cynthia Howson is Associate Teaching Professor in Ethnic, Labor and Gender Studies at the University of Washington Tacoma. She teaches courses on economic development, gender, and globalization.

Pierre Ly is Professor and Director of the International Political Economy Program at the University of Puget Sound. He teaches courses on global trade and finance, NGOs, and “The Idea of Wine,” a course about political economy and globalization through the lens of wine.

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