Food Studies Program at Umbra
The Food Studies Program at the Umbra Institute is a new curricular concentration that applies an interdisciplinary approach to the study of food – history, sociology, cultural studies, business practices, literature, politics, science, agriculture, and sustainability – to discover how the individual, the community, and society relate to food in Italy, America, and elsewhere. The program consists of three courses in food studies, a course in Italian language, and an optional elective (15-18 credits).
Each thematic course includes a series of co- and extra-curricular activities that are an integral part of the curriculum; they include guest lectures, site visits and hands-on experience. These activities will allow students to observe directly the concepts studied in the classroom and analyze issues surrounding Italian food culture from varied approaches and perspectives with emphasis on history, culture, production, sustainability, and business and industry. Students who complete all three food program courses will receive a certificate from the Umbra Institute documenting their participation and satisfactory completion of the Food Studies Program.
HSIT 350 – History and Culture of Food in Italy
The core course of the Food Studies Program, this class presents a history of food culture in Italy from Roman times through the Renaissance to the present. Students learn that far from being stable, Italian culinary “traditions” have been in a state of constant flux, the result of an ever-changing combination of political, economic, and social variables. Students participate in seven practica with local experts to learn about Italian foods: olive oil, coffee, wine, cheese, chocolate, gelato, pizza, and salamis. These graded workshops incorporate a knowledge of production, quality evaluation, and biochemical information.
Activities, Seminars and Workshops
• Olive Oil • Wine • Aperitivo
• Coffee • Cheeses • Gelato
• Day Trip to Florence and its Environs: Renaissance Culinary Experience
• Overnight Trip to Tuscany/Emilia-Romagna (Parmesan and Balsamic Vinegar Co-Ops)
• Truffle Hunting Day Trip to the Apennines
STFS 330 – Sustainability and Food Production in Italy
This course focuses on the radical increase in food production over the last 50 years and the ecological and social problems it has created, as well as on some possible solutions: the organic movement, Slow Food, innovative food technologies, and the shift towards local food. This course will explore the range of Italian food production, from foraging to the hyper-modern and even futuristic. These direct experiences will reinforce classroom assignments and provide valuable data for student presentations.
• Daytrip to Sustainable Meal in Chianti
BUFS 380 – The Business of Food: Italy and Beyond
This course seeks to give students a rich understanding of the feedback loops between consumption and production of food in Italy, the US, and worldwide. Topics include not only the business of production, technology, distribution, and sale of food, but also food-related industries in the areas of marketing, journalism, television, travel, and entertainment, and how these businesses have expanded exponentially in the last twenty years. This course will include a workshop in which students consult for a local vineyard, helping them create and commercialize two new products for the American wine market.
• Day Trip to vineyard in Umbrian hills
• “Progetto Montevibiano” Workshop
ITAL 101-420 – Italian Language
All student who attend the Umbra Institute must take an Italian language or a course taught in Italian as part of their semester curriculum. All levels of study are available from beginner to advanced in both 4- and 6-credit options.
ELECTIVE – Optional
Students who take the three food courses and Italian language may also take an additional course if desired. They may choose from any of the Umbra Institute’s offerings in areas such as history, literature, studio art, art history, creative writing, business, politics, and psychology. As an alternative or additional elective for Spring Semester students, a limited number of program participants may participate in an internship during the month of May, hosted by a local winery in nearby Torgiano. (Additional costs apply)
Summary of Course Activities exclusively for FSP Students
Co- and Extra-Curricular Activities
Those students who enroll in all three of the program’s food courses will be able to participate in all the co-curricular and extra-curricular activities listed below.
Food Practica (Seminar and Workshops)
• Olive Oil • Wine • Aperitivo
• Coffee • Cheeses • Gelato
• Weekend Trip to Tuscany/Emilia-Romagna
Prosciutto, Parmesan & Balsamic Vinegar Co-Ops
• Visits to Local Farms and Factories
Montevibiano Wine, Dario Cecchini Butcher Shop
• Truffle Day Trip to the Apennines
Optional End-of-Semester Academic Internship (May)
Students have the option of remaining in Italy after then end of the spring semester and participating in a full-time internship for the month of May at the Montevibiano Winery. Students will be housed locally in Perugia. The 4-week internships include 160 hours of work: the skills to be developed are corporate communication and analysis of the American wine market. Each student will complete weekly observational reports and two papers based on the readings, seminar discussions, and internship experience. Limit: 4 students maximum (Extra Charges apply)
The Umbra Institute is committed to the highest standard of academic excellence. Umbra professors are experts in their field and have a history of excellence in teaching. Our faculty deliver engaging, challenging and worthwhile material to students, employing on-site and experiential learning as part of the curriculum. The food studies program instructors are:
Simon Young, Ph.D. – History and Culture of Food in Italy
Elisa Ascione, Ph.D. - Sustainability and Food Production in Italy, Coordinator for the Food Studies Program
Dario Parenti - The Business of Food: Italy and Beyond
Zachary Nowak, M.A. – Asst. Director for the Food Studies Program
The Food Studies Program (FSP) consists of the core course, History and Culture of Food in Italy (HSIT 350), Sustainability and Food Production in Italy (STFS 330), and The Business of Food (BUFS 380). All FSP students will also enroll the appropriate level of Italian language study, and may choose to enroll in a 5th elective course for an additional lab fee. FSP students for Spring and Fall 2013 will be charged according to the listed at-cost lab fees for the 3 courses:
|Standard Fall 2013 Program Fees||$14,975.00|
|Individual HSIT 350 Travel Lab Fee||400.00 Euro|
|Individual STFS 330 Travel Lab Fee||80.00 Euro|
|Individual BUFS 380 Travel Lab Fee||50.00 Euro|
|Total FSP Lab Fee plus texts etc with Exchange Rate Adjustment||$975.00|
|Total Food Studies Program Costs per Semester||$15,950.00|
|May Internship Fee – 3 credits/160 hours||TBA|
*Each semester, the Food Program includes:
7 Food seminar/workshops (practica)
Overnight trip in Tuscany/Emilia Romagna
1 day trip to Tuscan butcher
1 day trip truffle hunting in the Apennine Mountains
The Fees Do Not Include: Transatlantic Airfare, Meals
Please note that all student apartments have well-equipped kitchens for cooking at home.
In future semesters, a single all-inclusive Food Studies Program Fee will replace the individual lab fee costs.
If you have any questions about the Semester Food Studies Program at Umbra, please contact us at email@example.com. We will be glad to assist you with any information or documentation you may need.