Julia Ehrhardt, Honors College
This Perspectives course introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of food, a burgeoning academic field. We will begin by investigating how food shapes personal, group, and national identities, and then study how gender, ethnicity, and race contribute to these formulations. Next, we will turn to contemporary issues regarding food in the United States: the lives and working conditions of immigrant farm laborers who produce what we put on our tables, the politics underlying school lunch programs, and the ethics of eating meat. Finally, we will investigate the future of food and explore possible solutions for feeding the world in the future. Readings, in-class discussions, and paper assignments will facilitate our examination of these topics. The goal of this class is to understand how food shapes lived experience in the United States, and vice-versa—how our experiences with food have defined and presently signify about national life in the United States.
This course has been designated a Presidential Dream Course for the Spring of 2019 and will feature guest lecturers and special in-class events for participants. The guest lecturers will present on four topics central to the class: the history of soul food in America; Native American food traditions, the political history of the U.S. school lunch program, and genetically modified foods. Each guest will also offer a program open to the public.
This class fulfills the Honors Perspectives requirement and carries lower division General Education credit.