FOOD & CULTURE
Prof. Ramona Lee Pérez
Class time: Tuesday & Thursday, 12:15-1:30
Class location: Powdermaker 114
Office: Powdermaker 315h
Office hours: Tuesday 2-3 & by appointment
Food is crucial to human life yet its significance can never be purely nutritional. Always a
central topic in anthropology, this class examines how food is intimately tied up with social
relations, including those of power, identity and belonging; material conditions, such as systems
of production and access to resources; as well as ideas about classification and the nature
experience. Throughout the semester we will interrogate the intersection of food and culture in
comparative ethnographic and historical perspective. Topics include: cannibalism and food
taboos; self and the senses; voice and identity; gender, sexuality and kinship; symbolic and
expressive culture; feasts, fasts and famine; class and social stratification; capitalist world
systems and alternative economies; religion and spirituality; distinction and hierarchies of
consumption; race and ethnicity; nationalism, imperialism and the politics of globalization. Our
ethnographic focus will be broad, and the range of readings eclectic. The course will include
clips from feature and documentary films. Students will be asked to complete a number of short
ethnographic, writing, reflexive and cooking/eating assignments throughout the semester
utilizing personal/family experience and the resources of New York City, complemented by
targeted internet and library research.
Required books (available at Queens College bookstore)
Barndt, D. Tangled Routes. Rowman & Littlefield.
Coe, S. & M. Coe. The True History of Chocolate, 2nd Ed. Thames & Hudson.
Counihan, C., Ed. Anthropology of Food and Body. Routledge.
Counihan, C. & P. Van Esterik, Eds. Food and Culture, 2nd Ed. Routledge.
Ray, Krishnendu. The Migrant's Table. Temple.
All required articles and a selection of recommended readings are available on Queens College
library e-reserves. http://www.reserve.qc.edu/eres/coursepass.aspx?cid=4267; password: per220.
You must use a campus computer or set up your home computer as a Queens College
Cole, L., Ed. Food, Ethnographic Encounters.
Beriss, D. & D. Sutton, Eds. The Restaurants Book.
Blackboard & Communication Policy
This course relies heavily on Blackboard for course communication, including use of discussion
boards, to archive assignments, and to send class announcements. Plan to login to Blackboard at
least twice per week. Login via CUNY Portal: http://www.cuny.edu/portal-login.html. Select
link for Anthropology 220 and browse for syllabus, assignments and announcements. Be sure to
activate your CUNY email in order to receive critical course announcements. You can forward
your CUNY email to another account if that is more convenient for you but I will send all course
announcements through Blackboard which is linked to CUNY accounts.
Please make use of my office hours if you have questions or concerns about the class. Because
of my teaching and administrative work load, I have a 72-hour policy for replying to student
emails and do not write individual replies if the issue applies to the entire class. For questions
about course content, please refer to e-reserves and Blackboard; if you are still not clear, check in
with classmates or ask me during office hours or our next class session. If you have technical
problems (i.e. access to Blackboard), please contact the Queens College OCT Help Desk at (718)
997-4444. I will not be able to assist you with any technology-related problems. If there are
urgent problems with course content (i.e. missing readings or assignment instructions), email me
marked “urgent” and check for my general reply on Blackboard. That is the most efficient way
for me to communicate on issues that apply to the entire class. If you have a personal
emergency, email me marked “personal” and I will respond within 72 hours.
Assignments and Grading
In addition to the required readings, screenings, discussions, in-class activities, and sharing food
with the class, you will complete several writing assignments, explained in detail below, each of
which involves library, web and/or ethnographic research, textual and/or media analysis, writing
up your findings and, when called upon, presenting them to the class.
All students will be graded on the following work, for a total of 100 points:
Attendance, preparation and participation (25 points): You are required to attend class and to
participate fully. You must complete all readings and/or assignments before each class. I do
record attendance and unexcused absences will lower your grade. To gain credit for completing
course readings, 3 comments or questions regarding required readings for each day are to be
posted to Blackboard by 10 a.m. the morning of class.
Food preparation & presentation (15 points): Once during the semester, each student will
prepare and serve a food item related to course themes, very briefly introducing it and
explaining: why it was chosen, its relation to course material, its ingredients and mode of
preparation, and any other meanings, such as personal significance, family/religious/regional
history (10 minutes max). Recipes and explanations should be posted to the food recipes thread
on Blackboard. A full meal is not expected, but there should be enough for a taste for all, and
the preparation/foodstuff should be “good to think.” Your food presentation does not have to
match discussion for the day, although extra credit is offered if you make the effort to tie in to
TAKE-HOME MIDTERM, due any time up to 10/18. Late papers not accepted.
Critical analysis paper (20 points; 5 pages): Students will sign up for paper topics during the
first week of class. Compare and contrast 3 required and/or recommended readings for an
assigned theme. Options include “Food & faith,” “Feeding kinship,” “Body image/Eating
disorders,” “Fast food,” or “Cooking masculinity.” Summarize content of articles and analyze
according to themes from class discussion. What is the topic or research question? What is the
data and research methods used? What are the author’s conclusions? What is the significance of
this article and how does it relate to other readings on this theme? Alternate assignment (20
points; 5 pages): Conduct a media review of required screenings. Options include: compare the
3 versions of Semiotics of the Kitchen. What is the concept of this video series? Compare and
contrast the form, content and impact of the original domestic violence commentary, Barbie
remake and macho mockumentary versions.
Research exercises (40 points—2 at 20 points each; 5 pages each): There will be two short
research exercises involving library research, interviewing, textual analysis, and/or participant
observation. The written result of each exercise should be about 5 pages long (typed, double-
spaced), and turned in with your raw notes. The analysis should include information on the
reason you selected these examples, the context/setting, participants, food/food habits, and any
meanings and structures relevant to the topic. Appropriate course readings should be cited to
help frame the analysis within broader theoretical issues. Assignment options and specific
instructions are listed below. Projects must be approved in advance. Due dates vary according
to choice of topic.
Selecting topics for required assignments
Students will sign up for food presentations and analytical paper topics during the first week of
the semester, and will sign up for research project topics during the second and third weeks.
Sign up sheets will be distributed starting on the first day of class. There will be a limited
number of slots available for each topic so choose early to get your first pick.
1. Kitchen Table Conversation: Food Talk as Personal Narrative and Oral History
Conduct a 90 minute interview with a family member or close family friend, preferably from a
different generation than your own, and engage in “food talk”. Topics to consider include
cooking knowledge and food preferences, childhood experiences, holidays and memorable
occasions, kinship-gender relations and ideals, eating out and food-buying patterns, household
labor. These encounters are to be recorded and selections transcribed as part of your critical
analysis of this individual’s, and your own, language and practice of food. Write up your
findings and hand in during the unit on Kitchen Culture.
Abarca, M. 2007. Charlas Culinarias. Food and Foodways 15(3-4):183-212.
Counihan, C. 2004. Around the Tuscan Table. New York: Routledge.
Hauck-Lawson, A. 1998. When Food is the Voice: A Case Study of a Polish-American Woman.
Journal for the Study of Food and Society 2:21-28.
2. Eat My Words: Cookbooks as Cultural History
Seriously examine at least two cookbooks, one of which must be over 50 years old (it can be a
facsimile book). Why do they tell you about women’s lives? The times they are written in?
What kinds of foods are featured? Why do you think those recipes were chosen? What kinds of
ingredients do they feature? Do they tell you anything about gender, class, or culture? Who is
the intended audience? How much time do recipes take to prepare? What knowledge does the
author assume that readers/users already have? Does the cookbook emphasize anything in
particular? Write up your cookbook analysis to hand in during our unit on Contemporary
Culinary Identities but be sure to begin the process of selecting and analyzing your texts earlier
in the semester.
Bower, A. 1997. Recipes for Reading: Community Cookbooks, Stories, Histories. Amherst:
University of Massachusetts Press.
Leonardi, S. 1989. Recipes for Reading: Summer Pasta, Lobster á la Riseholm and Key Lime
Pie. PMLA 104(3):340-347.
Theophano, J. 2002. Eat My Words: Reading Women's Lives through the Cookbooks They
Wrote. New York: Palgrave.
3. Sensual Celluloid: Food and Film
Watch a food-oriented film and analyze the scenes with food. What is the role of food in the
film? Gender? Race? Class? Who cooks? Who serves? Who eats? Who enjoys food? Does
food represent more than the food in the film? What, how and why? Is food all about
sociability? What kinship patterns and gender relations are happening through food? Does sex
occur and how does it relate to food (what comes first)? What are the body types of women in
the film? Men? Write up your analysis paying special attention to the role of food in the movie
—what does it make possible? Do you think that’s true in real life? You may select any food-
related film of your choice, however some possibilities are: Like Water for Chocolate; Chocolat;
Eat, Drink, Man, Woman; Real Women Have Curves; Tortilla Soup; Tom Jones; Heartburn;
What’s Cooking; Soul Food; The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover; Fried Green
Tomatoes; The Wedding Banquet; My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding; When Harry Met Sally; Guess
Who’s Coming to Dinner; American Graffiti; 9½ Weeks; Pretty Woman; Monsoon Wedding;
Bridget Jones’ Diary; Babette’s Feast; Delicatessen; Catfish in Black Bean Sauce; Chef in
Love; Diner; Eating; Fatso; Eating Raoul; La Grande Bouffe; Mostly Martha; Prime Cut; Scent
of Green Papaya; Tampopo; Vatel; Woman on Top; Better than Chocolate; God of Cookery;
Return to Me; Something to Talk About; Five Easy Pieces; Tootsie. This assignment is due
during the unit on Food, Body and Power.
Bower, A. 2004, ed. Reel Food: Essays on Food and Film. New York: Routledge.
Read food fiction and present analysis of food/gender symbolism. See list of suggested
questions and themes under food and film assignment. You may choose your own book (with
approval from the instructor) but favorite suggestions include: Crescent, Kitchen, Like Water for
Chocolate, Mistress of Spices, Olivia, Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love, Fried Green
Tomatoes, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.
Hafez, S. Food as semiotic code in Arabic literature. In Taste of Thyme.
4. Service Ethnography: Political Economy of Hunger
Volunteer at a local food bank or soup kitchen and conduct participant-observation on how and
why food is distributed. Note the stated purpose of the organization, and how people connect (or
not) through this charity. Do people come alone or in groups? Do they socialize when present
or is this “just business”? Pay special attention to the intersection to gender, class, ethnicity, age,
and kinship roles. Conduct two short interviews (20 minutes each) with participants on the
motivation of volunteers and the circumstances and goals of individual clients. This research
exercise should be theorized, written up and turned in during the unit on The History &
Political Economy of Food Production but you must begin volunteering early in the semester
to learn about the organization and establish relationships with people.
Glasser, I. 2010. More than Bread: Ethnography of a Soup Kitchen. University of Alabama
Poppendieck, J. 1998. Sweet Charity?: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement. New York:
Recommended screenings: Waiting, The Children Are Dying, Dying to Leave
Learn the finer points of fine dining, wine tasting, cheese aging, or some other set of food-linked
distinctions and report on the criteria used, techniques involved, associated expenses. Who
organized the session and who attends, and with whom? Why do they participate? Pay special
attention to the distribution of interest and knowledge according to gender, age, profession,
ethnicity. Who is expert? Who is a novice? Interview other participants to discover what kinds
of social or cultural capital is conferred by having this expertise, and/or the liabilities of
ignorgance. This project should be written up and turned in during the unit Consumption;
again, preparation must begin earlier in the term.
Wine tasting http://www.astorcenternyc.com/events.aspx?theme=wine&gclid=CK3cl4j-
Cheese tasting http://www.murrayscheese.com/edu_main.asp
Bourdieu, Distinction, Intro and selections of ch 1 and 3;
Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice, ch.2 on habitus (excerpt)
Day 1, 8/28
Read excerpts from and discuss:
Anthropologists’ Cookbook, Recipe for Roast Dog.
Counihan, C. AFB ch. 1. Food, Culture and Gender.
Counihan, C. AFB ch. 7. Food Rules in the United States.
Sahlins, M. excerpt from Culture and Practical Reason
Review articles on the anthropology of food
(Messer 1984 ARA covers from 1930s to 1984; Mintz 2002 ARA covers from 1984 to 2002)
FILM: The Search for Peking Dog (10 min)
Food preferences: (Reflexive writing): Reflect on what you’ve eaten, with whom and where for
the past three days. Are there any noticeable patterns in your diet? What was the last “new”
food you ate? (Interview): What was your favorite food as a child and why? What is your
favorite food now and why? Who prepares your favorite food? What was the last time you ate
it? Who were you with, where were you and what was the occasion? What is something you
would never eat? Why?
I. Boundaries, Symbolism, Communion
Day 2, 8/30
Cannibalism: The Original Divide
Marco Polo, Travels (skim)
Montaigne, On Cannibals (skim)
Sahlins, M. Culture as Protein and Profit, NYRB 25 (18):45-53
Conklin, B. Consuming Grief, chs. 1 & 5
Valeri, Theories of Sacrifice. In Kingship & Sacrifice, pp. 62-83.
White, H. Forms of Wildness: The Noble Savage Theme as Fetish. In Tropics of Discourse. Pp.
FILM: How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman (80 mins) PN1995.9 C65 2007
Day 3, 9/4
Food & Faith: Boundaries & Taboos
Bible, King James Version, Leviticus 9 and 11, Deuteronomy 14
Douglas, M. 1984. The Abominations of Leviticus. In Purity and Danger: An Analysis of
Concepts of Pollution and Taboo. Pp. 41-57. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Harris, M. 1997. The Abominable Pig. In Food and Culture: A Reader. C. Counihan and P.V.
Esterik, eds. Pp. 67-79. New York: Routledge.
Feely-Harnik, G. (1981). Food Symbolism in the Judaic Tradition; The Last Supper; Gluttony.
In The Lord’s Table: The Meaning of Food in Early Judaism and Christianity. Pp. 71-106
(all); 107-148 (skim); 63-70 (all). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian.
Soler, J. 1997 . Semiotics of Food in the Bible. In Food and Culture: A Reader. C.
Counihan and P. V. Esterik, pp. 126-138. New York: Routledge.
Day 4, 9/6
Food & Faith: Communion and the Religious/Spiritual Body
Article on Nation of Islam In Taking Food Public
Bynum, C.W. 1997. Fast, Feast, and Flesh: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval
Women. In Food and Culture: A Reader (eds) C. Counihan & P. Van Esterik. New York:
Routledge, 138-158. Reprinted from Representations 11 (Summer 1984):1-25.
Counihan, C. 1984. Bread As World: Food Habits and Social Relations in Modernizing Sardinia.
In Food and Culture, pp. 283-295. Reprinted from Anthropological Quarterly 57:47-95.
Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, B. Kitchen Judaism.
Lehrhaupt, The Organizational Seder.
Van Esterik, P. 1986. Feeding Their Faith: Recipe Knowledge Among Thai Buddhist Women.
Food and Foodways 1:197-215.
Buitelaar, M. 1993. Fasting and Feasting in Morocco: Women's Participation in Ramadan
(Mediterranea). Oxford, UK; Providence, RI: Berg. Excerpts TBA.
Loan from Hunter or Baruch, BP186.4.B85 1993
Cernea, R.F. (1981). The Summarizing Plate. In The Passover Seder: An Anthropological
Perspective on Jewish Culture. Pp. 129-147. Lanham: University Press of America.
Ohnuki-Tierney, E. Rice in Cosmogony and Cosmology, In Rice as Self.
Sered, S.S. 1988. Food and Holiness: Cooking as a Sacred Act among Middle Eastern Jewish
Women. Anthropological Quarterly 61:129-39.
Recommended screening: Gefilte Fish (14 mins)
II. Food, Body, Power
Day 5, 9/11
Body Image and the Shape of Relationships
Bruch, H. 1997. Body Image and Self-Awareness. In Food and Culture: A Reader, (eds.) C.
Counihan & P. Van Esterik. New York: Routledge, 211-225. Reprinted from Eating
Disorders: Obesity, Anorexia Nervosa, and the Person within (1973). H. Bruch. New
York: Basic Books, 87-105.
Counihan, C. 1999. The Body as Voice of Desire and Connection in Florence, Italy. In The
Anthropology of Food and Body: Gender, Meaning, and Power. New York: Routledge,
Sobo, E.J. 1997. The Sweetness of Fat: Health, Procreation, and Sociability in Rural Jamaica. In
Food and Culture: A Reader, (eds.) C. Counihan & P. Van Esterik. New York:
Counihan, C. 1999. What Does It Mean to Be Fat, Thin, Female? In The Anthropology of Food
and Body: Gender, Meaning, and Power. New York: Routledge, 76-92.
Popular representations of food and body: Work in pairs to analyze magazines brought to class.
Examine ads and text for advice on food and diet. Are there any themes? What kinds of diet or
nutritional advice are given? What differences do you see between the publications? What do
the people look like in the photos and illustrations? Are there differences in body type? Is
dieting gendered? A challenge: try to find an ad where people are really enjoying a (non-diet)
Day 6, 9/13
Eating Social (Dis)Orders
Bordo, S. 1997. Anorexia Nervosa: Psychopathology as the Crystallization of Culture. In Food
and Culture: A Reader, (eds.) C. Counihan & P. Van Esterik. New York: Routledge, 226-
250. Reprinted from Bordo, S. 1993. Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture
and the Body. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 139-164.
Brumberg, J.J. 1997. The Appetite as Voice. In Food and Culture: A Reader, (eds.) C. Counihan
& P. Van Esterik. New York: Routledge, 159-179. Reprinted from Fasting Girls: The
Emergence of Anorexia Nervosa as a Modern Disease (1988) by J. Brumberg.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 164-188.
Thompson, B.W. 2002. "A Way Outa No Way": Eating Problems among African-American,
Latina and White Women. In Food in the USA: A Reader, (ed.) C. Counihan. New York:
Counihan, C. An Anthropological View of Western Women’s Prodigious Fasting: A Review
Essay. In The Anthropology of Food and Body: Gender, Meaning, and Power. New
York: Routledge, 93-112.
Tom’s Flesh (9 mins), Dying to be Thin (60 mins), Thin (60 mins) RC522.E18 T46 2006
Day 7, 9/20
Paz, O. 1972 Eroticism and Gastrosophy. Daedalus 101(4):67-85.
Probyn, E. 1999. An Ethos with a Bite: Queer Appetites from Sex to Food. Sexualities 2:421-
Rosovsky, M.S. Aphrodisiacs. In Scribner’s Encyclopedia of Food and Culture.
Farquhar, J. 2002. Appetites: Food and Sex in Postsocialist China. Durham: Duke University
Probyn, E. 2000. Carnal Appetites: FoodSexIdentities. London; New York: Routledge.
FILM: clips from Jamón, Jamón (Graduate Center DVD 746)
Recommended activity: See art exhibit, The Dinner Party at Brooklyn Museum.
In-class exercise: Analyze and discuss images of “food porn” in upscale foodie publications
(Gastronomica, Spain Gourmetor, etc.)
Sensual Celluloid short research assignment due.
III. Kitchen Culture
Day 8, 9/27
Allison, A. 1997 . Japanese Mothers and Obentos: The Lunch Box as Ideological State
Apparatus. In Food and Culture. Reprinted from Anthropological Quarterly 64:195-208.
Appadurai, A. 1981. Gastro-Politics in Hindu South Asia. American Ethnologist 8:494-511.
Counihan, C. A Tortilla is Like Life, ch. 7, pp. 137-151.
Dubisch, J. 1986. Culture Enters through the Kitchen: Women, Food and Social Boundaries in
Rural Greece. In Gender & Power in Rural Greece. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University
Stoller, P. 1989. The Taste of Ethnographic Things: The Senses in Anthropology, ch. 1.
Williams, B. 1984. Why Migrant Women Feed Their Husbands Tamales: Foodways As a Basis
for a Revisionist View of Tejano Family Life. In Ethnic and Regional Foodways in the
United States: The Performance of Group Identity (eds.) L.K. Brown & K. Mussell.
Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press.
Day 9, 10/4
Counihan, C. Anthropology of Food and Body, chs. 2, 3, 9
Ochs, Elinor, C. Pontecorvo, and A. Fasulo. 1996. Socializing Taste. Ethnos 61:7-46.
Seremetakis, N. 1994. Memory of the Senses, Part 2, pp. 23-43, In The Senses Still.
FILM: Big Night (109 mins), VHS PN1995.C55 B54 1997
Recommended screening: Eat, Drink, Man, Woman (124 mins), PN1995.9.F67 Y56 2002
Day 10, 10/9
From Culinary Epistemology to the Kitchenspace
Abarca, M. ch. 1 & ch. 2 In Voices in the Kitchen.
Brillat-Savarin, J.A. Aphorisms, On the Senses, On Taste, On Gastronomy. In The
Physiology of Taste.
Christie, M.E. 2008. Kitchenspace. Austin: University of Texas Press. (excerpts)
Fischer, MFK. Foreword. In Gastronomical Me. Reprinted in Food and Culture: A Reader (eds.)
C. Counihan & P. Van Esterik. New York: Routledge.
Trankell, I.-B. 1995. Excerpts from Introduction; Ch. 5: Cooking, Gender, and Domestic Space.
In Cooking, Care and Domestication: A Culinary Ethnography of the Tai Yong, Northern
Thailand. Uppsala, Sweden: Uppsala University Press.
Belenky, M.F. et. al. 1997 . Women’s Ways of Knowing. New York: Basic Books.
Day 11, 10/11
Domestic Labor, Domestic Violence
DeVault, M. 1997. Conflict and Deference. In Food and Culture: A Reader (eds.) C. Counihan &
P. Van Esterik. New York: Routledge. Reprinted from Feeding the Family: The Social
Organization of Caring as Gendered Work (1991) by M. DeVault. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 227-243.
Ellis, R. 1983. The Way to a Man's Heart: Food in the Violent Home. In The Sociology of Food
and Eating: Essays on the Sociological Significance of Food (ed.) A. Murcott. Aldershot,
Hants, England: Gower International Library of Research and Practice.
FILM: Semiotics of the Kitchen
Rossler (1975) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNmdmSFqpSI (6 mins)
Willet (2011) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca2RP5TQAxI&NR=1&feature=endscreen
Read & interpret poem “What’s that Smell in the Kitchen?” by Marge Piercy.
Day 12, 10/16
Deutsch, J. 2004. "Eat Me Up": Spoken Voice and Food Voice in an Urban Firehouse. Food,
Culture and Society 7:27-36.
Limón, J. 1989. Carne, Carnales, and the Carnivalesque: Bakhtinian Batos, Disorder, and
Narrative Discourses. American Ethnologist 16:471-86.
Taggart, J.M. 2002. Food, Masculinity, and Place in the Hispanic Southwest. In Food in the
USA: A Reader (ed.) C. Counihan. New York: Routledge.
Adler, T.A. 1983. Making Pancakes on Sunday: The Male Cook in Family Tradition. In
Foodways and Eating Habits: Directions for Research (eds.) R. Krell, B. Giuliano &
M.O. Jones. Los Angeles: The California Folklore Society.
FILM: Johnson (2011), Man’s Semiotics of the Kitchen http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Recommended screening: Emeril cooking show
IV. The History & Political Economy of Food
Case Study: Chocolate
Day 13, 10/18
Indigenous American Crops & Columbian Exchange
Coe, S. & M. Coe. The True History of Chocolate, pp. 10-103
Murra, J.V. 1960. Rite and Crop in the Inca State. In Culture in History: Essays in Honor of Paul
Radin. S. Diamond, ed. New York: Octagon.
Day 14 10/23
Chocolate in Colonialism and World Systems
Coe, S. & M. Coe. The True History of Chocolate, pp. 104-202.
Sahlins, M. 1994. Cosmologies of Capitalism: The Trans-Pacific Sector of ‘The World
System.’ In Culture/Power/History: A Reader in Contemporary Social Theory. Dirks,
Ely, Ortner, eds. Princeton U Press.
Wallerstein, E. (article)
Wolf, E. Europe and the People Without History, Introduction and selections from ch.11 "The
Movement of Commodities."
Day 15, 10/25
Contemporary Commodity Production
Coe, S. & M. Coe. The True History of Chocolate, pp. 203-268.
Terrio, S. Crafting Grand Cru Chocolates.
Roseberry, W. ed. Introduction In Coffee, Society and Power in Latin America.
Black Harvest (especially if you’ve seen First Contact),
Tales from the Global Economy: The Cappuccino Trail (50 mins)
The Commodities series covers coffee history & contemporary production/global markets, sugar,
tea/opium. Produced mid-1980s so outdated but good historical overview. Skip dramatization,
take notes from narration.
Day 16, 10/30
Commodities, part 2: Fish and Sugar
Bestor, Ted (2001) Supply Side Sushi: Commodity, Market and the Global City. American
Kurlansky, M. Cod, “With mouth wide open” ch. 2, “Cod rush” ch. 3, “Certain inalienable
rights” ch. 5, pp. 32-61, 78-91
Mintz, S. Sweetness and Power, excerpts.
FILMS: “Empty Oceans, Empty Nets” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7t5gPgfcek (clip)
“H-2 Worker” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TBJALCahNQ (clip); full movie on itunes
Case Study: Greater Mexico
Day 17, 11/1
Labor, part 1
Barndt, D. 2002. Tangled Routes: Women, Work, and Globalization on the Tomato Trail.
Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Pub. Pages TBA
Marx, K. “Wage Labour and Capital”
FILM: “The Wrath of Grapes” (15 mins) HD9259.G68 W7
Recommended screenings: “Fighting for our Lives,” http://www.youtube.com/watch?
“Standing Tall,” or “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (15 mins), “Watsonville on Strike”
Day 18, 11/6
Labor, part 2
Barndt, D. 2002. Tangled Routes: Women, Work, and Globalization on the Tomato Trail.
Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Pub. Pages TBA
Zavella, P. 1991. Mujeres in Factories: Race and Class Perspectives on Women, Work, and
Family. In Gender at the Crossroads of Knowledge: Feminist Anthropology in the
Postmodern Era (ed.) M.d. Leonardo. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Sinclair, U. The Jungle. PS35537.I85 J9 2005
FILM: “The Struggle in the Fields,” 2 of 4 Chicano! (PBS Documentary)
Full-length film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIgIaI5AVpY
Day 19, 11/8
Food Scarcity, Food Justice and Alternative Economies
Poppendieck, J. 2009. Hungry City. In Gastropolis.
Shiva, V. Stolen Harvest, ch. 6, HD9000.5.S454 2000
Selections from Taking Food Public
East Harlem presentation
Fitchen, J. In Food and Culture.
Patel, R. Stuffed and Starved.
FILM: “Harvest of Fear” (select youtube clips)
Recommended screening: Food, Inc. DVD HD995.F66 2009
Service Ethnography short research assignments due.
Fast Food, 11/13
Kane, K. 2002. Who Deserves a Break Today? Fast Food, Cultural Rituals, and Women's Place.
In Food in the USA: A Reader (ed.) C. Counihan. New York: Routledge, 315-321.
Reprinted from Cooking by the Book: Food in Literature and Culture (1989), M.
Schofield, ed. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Press, 27-36.
Probyn, E. 1998.
Schlosser, E. 2001. Introduction. In Fast Food Nation, pp. 1-10 and ch. 9, What's in the Meat, pp.
193-224. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
Van Esterik, P. 1992.
Watson, J. McDonald’s in Hong Kong: Consumerism, Dietary Change and the Rise of a
Children’s Culture, pp. 77-109 and 218-227. In Golden Arches East.
FILM: “Supersize Me” (excerpt) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2diPZOtty0
“Fast Food Women,” part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-oaX0ZYplE
part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDfTAcqc6A4
part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbwPBgbcVTs
part 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RD3yylv9q4
Recommended screening: “Ilha das Flores” (15 mins)
Day 21, 11/15
From Distinction to Slow Food
Bourdieu, P. Introduction and selections from ch 1 and 3 In Distinction.
Roseberry, W. 1996. The Rise of Yuppie Coffees and the Reimagination of Class in the United
States. American Anthropologist 98(4):762-775.
Zukin, S. Gentrification and Cuisine. pp. 206-215
Slow Food Manifesto (excerpts)
Cook & Crang (1996). World on a Plate. In Journal of Material Culture 1(2):131-153.
Zukin, et. al. (1992). The Bubbling Cauldron: Global and Local interactions in New York City
Restaurants. In After Modernism: Global Restructuring and the Changing Boundaries of
City Life. Comparative Urban and Community Research, vol. 4. Smith, M.P., ed. New
Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.
Recommended screening: Instructional videos from Culinary Institute of America
Distinction short research assignment due.
VI. Contemporary Culinary Identities: Ethnicity, Nationalism, Imperialism
Case Study: Bengali-Americans
Day 22, 11/20
Nation, Region, Migration
Ray, K. The Migrant’s Table: Meals and Memories in Bengali-American Households.
Philadelphia: Temple University Press, pp. 1-76.
Recommended Reading: Renne, E. P. 1993. All Right, Vegemite!
Thanksgiving Break 11/22-11/25
Day 23, 11/27
Ray, K. The Migrant’s Table: Meals and Memories in Bengali-American Households.
Philadelphia: Temple University Press, pp. 77-129
Day 24, 11/29
Food Knowledge in Diasporic Communities: From Africa to the New World
Beoku-Betts, J.A. 1995. We Got Our Way of Cooking Things: Women, Food, and the
Preservation of Cultural Identity among the Gullah. Gender and Society 9:535-55.
Carney, J.A. 2001. Black Rice: the African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas.
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, ch. 4 and excerpts from ch. 2, esp. photos.
Styles, M.H. 1997 . Soul, Black Women and Food. In Food and Culture. Reprinted from
A Woman's Conflict: The Special Relationship Between Women and Food (ed.) J.R.
Kaplan. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
Recommended screening: Soul Food
Day 25, 12/4
Appadurai, A. 1988. How to Make a National Cuisine: Cookbooks in Contemporary India.
Comparative Studies and Society in History 30:3-24.
Pilcher, J.M. 1998. Apostles of the Enchilada: Postrevolutionary Nationalism. In Que Vivan los
Tamales!: Food and the Making of Mexican Identity. Albuquerque: University of New
Zafar, R. 2002. The Signifying Dish: Autobiography and History in Two Black Women's
Cookbooks. In Food in the USA: A Reader (ed.) C. Counihan. New York: Routledge.
Day 26, 12/6
Nostalgia and the senses
Bahloul, J. 1996. Domestic Time. In The Architecture of Memory: A Jewish-Muslim Household
in Colonial Algeria, 1937-1962. Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology.
New York: Cambridge University Press.
Seremetakis, C. Nadia. 1994. The Memory of the Senses: Part 1, pp. 1-18. In The Senses Still:
Perception and Memory as Material Culture in Modernity. Boulder: Westview Press.
Sutton, D. 2001. Sensory Memory and the Construction of Worlds, pp. 73-102. In Remembrance
of Repasts. Oxford: Berg.
Abercrombie, T. 1998. Telling and Drinking the Paths of Memory: Narrative and Libation
Poetics as Historical Consciousness, pp. 317-367. In Pathways of Memory and Power.
Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Camporesi, P. Anatomy of the Senses.
Leitch, A. The Social Life of Lardo.
FILM: Like Water for Chocolate (105 mins) PQ7298.15 S638 C662 1994
Day 27, 12/11
Sexual/Racial Politics of Imperialism
Enloe, C.H. 1990. Carmen Miranda on My Mind. In Bananas, Beaches & Bases: Making
Feminist Sense of International Politics. Berkeley: University of California. HQ1236.E55
FILM: “Carmen Miranda, Bananas is My Business” (90 mins)
Eat My Words short research assignment due.