Beyond meeting a basic need, food is central to our sense of self, place, and our ideas of health and well-being. In this course we will examine the cultural experiences of food and eating with particular emphasis on the practices of culinary tourism, and how ideas of physical and mental health are shaped through preparing, eating, and sharing food. Using Perugia as our laboratory, we will take a closer look, and taste, of foodways in Italy. Drawing on visual methods in anthropology, students’ primary assignment is to gather photographic data about one aspect of food and culture in Perugia, and compare that to cultural ideas of Italian food and health in the US. Students will examine the intersection of nutrition and culture to understand how cultural ideas of taste, preference, tradition, gender, social class, and nationality are influenced by our choices about what to eat.
- Expanded cross-cultural awareness, and reduced ethnocentrism by learning to think critically about your own culture as well as other cultures.
- Improved reading and writing proficiency through discussion and analysis of ethnographic research data, and then communicating this knowledge to peers.
- Ability to use anthropological methods of inquiry and visual methods to describe the cultural patterns of food behaviors.
- Increased knowledge of the foodways and culture of Perugia and Italy.
- Enhanced awareness of how nutrition and cultural patterns shape our experiences procuring, eating and sharing food.
The course will involve day trips to wineries and vineyards.