Food for Thought
MW 1:30-3:20 MEB 243
Instructor: Dr. Nancy C. White
Office hours: MW 12:30-1:15, and by appointment, in CHID office (Padelford B-102)
CHID 490: Food for Thought is a seminar designed to allow students to produce substantial research projects within the limited time span of one quarter. To that end, students will examine the topic of food through a variety of lenses—food as sustenance in times of hardship, food as a way to bring family together, food as a source of childhood and childlike amazement, food as an economically and politically charged entity, food as a form of memoir, and food as a career (amongst others)—and will complete several assignments in order to build towards one significant piece of work, which they will present at a CHID thesis presentation in the final week of the quarter. Throughout the quarter, in addition to weekly readings and discussions, students will be asked to formulate and develop their projects with the help of their instructor and their peers.
The topic for the course—food—has been chosen because of its universality and significance. As humans, we must interact with food on a daily basis. Sometimes these interactions are commonplace and banal, but they can also be charged and difficult, satisfying and rewarding, or influential and life-changing. In this course, we will explore the decisions we make every day when we eat (as well as the decisions made for us) in order to think about where the food we eat comes from, how it gets to us, and who affects that journey.
This course investigates our relationship with food through several different lenses: food as sustenance in times of hardship, food as a way to bring family together, food as a source of childhood and childlike amazement, food as an economically and politically charged entity, food as a form of memoir, food as a new scientific frontier, and food as a career. Readings will range from memoirs and other nonfiction to novels, comics, and films. Throughout the quarter, students will be asked to explore their memories of, to scrutinize their relationships with, and to reexamine their views on food.