Open Classes for Spring 2012

Having trouble picking out your classes for next semester? We’ve got just the thing to help you out. There are a number of wonderful courses available for Spring 2012, and the following classes still have a few slots left. Several of these are special topics courses that will not be offered regularly. Check them out and register today to secure a slot!


ML 610 A1 The Big Fat Fat Controversy
6-9pm, GCB 201

The word “fat” is charged with many meanings and associations. There is the biochemical entity called fat, the stuff that fills our adipose tissues. Fat, one of the macronutrients that constitute our food, is an ingredient in a myriad of dishes. Fat is associated with ill-health, particularly Type II diabetes. Fat gives shape to the human form, thus contributing to body image. Effort may be expended, via dieting and training, to eliminate bodily fat or reconfigure it as muscle. And fat represents different things in different cultures. This course will try to circle the girth of this amazingly rich subject.


ML 610 B1 Alcohol & Culture
6-9pm, EOP 266

In Italy, France and Germany alcoholic beverages are considered an important part of the daily diet and commensality. In many African countries, alcohol has important ritual uses and is often used in rites of passage. In the United States, Americans have a fraught relationship with alcohol–from Prohibition to binge drinking. This course will explore the culture of alcohol in historic and contemporary contexts throughout the globe. The course material will focus on such topics as: locality and taste; gender and drinking; questions of morality; and the medicinal uses of alcohol.

ML 612 B1 Pots and Pans
6-9pm, STO 253

Exploration of the food cultures and technologies through material culture- pots, pans, and utensils. Course will range broadly across cultures, time, and space with emphasis on medieval and early modern times. Life histories of humble, overlooked, everyday objects associated with food preparation and consumption; kitchens from prehistory to the present; tradition and fashion in cooking & dining vessels; pots and cooking technology; pots as metaphors & symbols.


ML 722 C1 Food Activism
6-9pm, CAS 325

In this class students will explore the work of anthropologists and other social scientists on food activism citizens’ efforts to promote social and economic justice through food practices and challenge the global corporate agrifood system. The class will explore diverse individual and collective forms of food activism including veganism, gleaning, farmers’ markets, organic farming, fair trade, CSAs, buying groups, school gardens, anti-GMO movements, Slow Food, Via Campesina, and others. It will address the questions: what is food activism, what are its goals, what is working and not working, and what are the results?


ML 610 EL Culinary Tourism

Culinary tourism is “eating out of curiosity.” This approach to food has had significant impacts on the development of cuisines, political history, and the relationships between groups of people. This class will explore culinary tourism from an interdisciplinary perspective as a human impulse, an historical force representing power structures, and a theme within tourism. It will ask what it means for individuals to eat the food of an “other,” and whether or not such eating can lead to cultural understanding and ecological and economic sustainability. Students will also learn basic principles of tourism by completing a project developing a culinary tourism product (trail, vacation, tour, food item, restaurant).

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