Advanced survey and comparative study of the relationship between food and culture in the past and present. Topics include the domestication and evolution of plants and animals, biological and cultural aspects of the production, distribution, preparation, and consumption of food, and an analysis of the social and cultural significance of food—including food preferences and taboos, food and religion, food and identity, food and power, gendered division of labor in foodways, beliefs and values about foods, food symbols and metaphors, new food technologies, and the globalization of contemporary food systems.
NOTE: "In this class, our use of technology will sometimes make students' names and U of M Internet IDs visible within the course website, but only to other students in the same class. Since we are using a secure, password-protected course website, this will not increase the risk of identity theft or spamming for anyone in the class. If you have concerns about the visibility of your Internet ID, please contact me for further information."
American Anthropology has long emphasized a fourfold approach to the study of the humankind--one embracing physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, archaeology and linguistics--and one regularly doing so with a comparative methodology and explicitly holistic theoretical perspective. It is an aim of the proposed course to demonstrate those interrelating characteristic qualities of the discipline with a foremost topic, the “cultural universal” of food.
Within this comparative holistic traditional disciplinary framework the course aims to convey a basic understanding of fundamental biological nutritional needs, “derived” needs relating to the production/obtaining, distributing, preparing, consuming, and honoring/celebrating the use of food within a global perspective.
The course aims to provide a fundamental understanding of subsistence strategies past and present, including domestication and evolution of plants and animals.
The course aims to provide an understanding of prehistoric and contemporary regional cuisines and subsistence patterns, including those native and immigrant to Minnesota and the Upper Midwest.
This course aims to familiarize students with comparative categories of food and foodways, and how they are constructed.
The course aims to impart an understanding of the importance of the social and cultural significance of food--including food preferences and taboos, the relationship between food and religion, and food and identity, and food and power, gendered division of labor in foodways, beliefs and values about foods, food symbols and metaphors, new food technologies, and the globalization of contemporary food systems.
This course aims to prepare students to think critically about the meanings of what we and others eat and drink, and of what we do not consume.
This course aims to help students better understand societies of the world through an understanding of their foods and foodways.
The course aims to understand and reflect on their personal relationship to food chains and food procurement and utilization systems.
Finally, the course aims to provide some experience and practice at researching, writing about, and publicly presenting results of anthropological inquiry.