This is most recent syllabus. Your final syllabus will be given during your first day of class
- This course is cross-listed with HIST 350 and SOC 350. This course was formerly HSIT 350.
- This course is required for students who are enrolled in the Food & Sustainability Studies Program (FSSP). Students not enrolled in the FSSP may take the course, however, priority will be given to FSSP students.
- Students who enroll in this course have the option of adding an additional 1-credit i-Course.
What can food history teach us about contemporary culture?
In this course, we will explore the history of food in Italy as a gateway to understanding present Italian culture. By examining the factors that have shaped Italian food, cuisine, and taste, the variations in eating habits of different socio-economic classes, and the essential role played by food in constructing Italian identities, we will shed light on fundamental patterns in Italian history and society.
This exploration will lead us to consider processes of social and cultural exchange, political and religious influence, and economic and scientific development. Through a mix of discussions, readings, workshops, lectures, and field trips we will investigate Italian food and culture from Antiquity to the present. After the completion of this course, students will have acquired a critical understanding of food history, an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Italian culture and society, and a framework for analyzing Italian history.
By the end of the course, students will be able to:
- Evaluate the validity and generalizability of historical texts for the study of history
- Identify and communicate the food-related factors that influenced historical events in Italy
- Explain how food culture reflects broad changes in Italian society
- Assess the social and cultural exchanges that have shaped Italian food history
Mandatory course reader
- You will take a day trip to Florence to visit a market, take part in a historical cooking class, and explore an ancient pharmacy to learn about medicinal characteristics of food.
- At his agriturismo home in Città di Castello, Matteo Bartolini will lead you on a truffle hunt day trip.
- You will travel to Parma and Modena for a three-day field trip where they will tour an authentic Parmesan cheese cooperative, learn how balsamic vinegar is made, and see the process of making prosciutto.