Eating in the City: Food, Ethics and the Urban Environment
How does eating make the city? How does the city remake the act of eating? This course investigates the ways in which food webs and food ways form and are formed by the everyday rhythms of urban life—from the commerce of supermarkets and farmers markets to the peregrinations of urban scavengers and guerilla gardeners—and the political and social formations of urban identity that animate the city—from the high-income gentrification of slick coffee shops to the migrant labor that populate ethnic enclaves, from the precarious labor that shops at the food bank to the world-class fine dining that gleams from the pages of in-flight magazines. It investigates the implications of these food ways and food webs for both the social and material landscape of the city, engaging with questions of social justice, environmental justice, and the built environment through a range of interlocutors, anthropology, geography, ecology, critical race studies, women’s studies, queer theory, and urban studies and planning. The course will involve substantial reading assignments, regular short writing assignments, and a final research project.