This is most recent syllabus. Your final syllabus will be given during your first day of class
Note: This course is part of the Food & Sustainability Studies curriculum. It may be taken individually. You do not have to be enrolled in the Food Studies Program to take this course. However, priority will be given to students participating directly in the Food & Sustainability Studies Program.
This course will address food related issues from an anthropological perspective. It will examine the role food plays in shaping group and personal identities with a particular focus on Italy and the States. Through ethnographic research in different settings around Perugia, you will explore how local food “traditions” change over time and space, and how culinary knowledge is used by people in different ways. The course will focus on food as material and immaterial heritage through an analysis of food museums and eco-museums. Furthermore, it will explore the role of food in Italian families, applying a gendered perspective in order to understand the changing attitudes and roles of men and women towards food and cooking. You will study food as a site of cultural transmission, but also of dissent and resistance, with a focus on social movements around “food justice” and alternative food distribution networks.
The course will incorporate a variety of learning experiences: mini-ethnographic projects on food producers and workers in Umbria, a field trip to artisan food producers. Through these class exercises, you will become active participants and engage in ethnographic research in the classroom and in the local community.
In this course, you will:
- increase your understanding of how individual food behaviors are shaped by the foodways of your society;
- learn to approach cultural differences with an unbiased framework;
- increase your knowledge of Italian culture through the examination of the food practices of individuals and communities;
- be able to recognize the cultural, political, and economic value of food; and
- recognize the efforts behind organizations and museums that promote and develop food-related cultural events.
Narrating Food Culture Project Description
In this course, you will collaborate with SapereFood, an online magazine dedicated to sharing the Umbrian agricultural traditions and food producers’ narratives with consumers. You will conduct on-site visits and participate in tastings of local products, which will serve as the basis for an anthro-journalism article you will write. The collection of student articles will then be published in the “Umbra Diaries” section of the SapereFood webpage. At the end of the semester, you will present your project to the Umbra community.
Mandatory course reader