In the last twenty years historians have turned with ever more interest to food as a key for understanding the past. Italy is particularly interesting in this respect. Modern Italian identity is based, in large part, on food. And many Italian ‘staples’, including ice cream, olive oil, pasta, pizza, risotto, and wine, have interesting stories that give insights into Italian culture and Italian history. Through a series of class visits, tasting experiences and more conventional power-point based lectures we will look at Italian food in prehistory, antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and more recent times.
Note: This course may be taken individually. You do not have to be enrolled in the Food Studies Program to take this course.
- Have a solid understanding of the role of food in Italian culture;
- Have a good grasp of the emerging discipline of ‘food history’;
- Have an idea of the general sweep of Italian history;
- Have come into intimate contact with primary historical sources assessing them in both class discussions and their writing
Additional iCourse Objectives
- Become confident in discussing topics related to the history and culture of food in Italian;
- Improve speaking and writing communication skills about food in Italian;
- Improve listening comprehension;
- Integrate course material with case studies about Umbrian food culture;
- Discuss historical, social, and political events related to course materials in depth;
- Read and discuss essays and research about Italian food in the original language.
This course includes an additional one-credit Italian language section for a total of 4 credits. Please Note: Only those with an intermediate Italian proficiency level (one year of college level Italian, or more) are eligible to enroll in HSIT 349i. Please click here to find out more.
Mandatory course reader
Additional Biography for the Italian Section
- Baronti G. (ed) (1999) Le opere e i santi. Tradizione alimentare e festività rituale in provincia di Terni, Provincia di Terni.
- Flandrin J. L. E Montanari M. (1999) Storia dell’alimentazione, Edizioni Laterza, Bari
- Grimaldi P. (2014) Cibo e Rito. Il gesto e la parola nell’alimentazione tradizionale, Sellerio, Palermo
- La Cecla Franco (2002) La Pasta e la Pizza, Il Mulino, Bologna
- Montanari M. (2007) Il cibo come cultura, Edizioni Laterza, Bari
- Paolini D., Seppilli T., Sorbini A. (2002) Migrazioni e Culture Alimentari, Editoriale Umbra, Perugia
Visits to an organic winery and an artisan cheese producer