CSP 51: Culture of Food
What do you like to eat? Who prepares your food? Who is at the table eating it with you?
We all eat. But we do not eat the same food in the same places. Moreover, we can experience the same foods quite differently from each other, and from one occasion to the next. Books, websites, and television programs devoted to food topics have become ubiquitous and have shaped and reflected our notions about food and eating. In this course, we will explore aesthetic, historical, social, and cognitive approaches to food studies. In addition to critically examining cross-cultural aspects of food culture, we will include field trips to explore food culture in Los Angeles and eat food together. Each student will carve out an area of research early on and develop it over the course of the semester, culminating in a research presentation and final argument-driven research paper. By the end of the course, you will be able to examine and evaluate critically the connections between food, culture, and society.
This course is a team-taught, interdisciplinary course offered as part of the Cultural Studies Program (CSP). On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, students convene for both a seminar and a group lecture. It thus provides eight units of credit and meets both the spring CSP requirement and the Core Global Connections distribution requirement. This course will provide research and analytical skills suitable to students interested in any discipline.
Professor David Kasunic (email@example.com) is a music historian whose research focuses on 19th-century France, including the rise of gastronomy and its relationship to music. He has previously taught a seminar on the history of the relationship of music and food.
Professor John T. Lang (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a sociologist whose teaching and research focuses on food, consumption, and the environment. He has previously taught courses on the sociology of food and seminars on restaurant culture.
Professor Carmel Levitan (email@example.com) is a cognitive scientist who teaches classes about the mind, brain, and computation. Her research focuses on the different senses interact and she has worked with students on several projects looking at how color and labels influence perception of food.
If you are interested in taking this eight-credit course, you must let us know by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Monday, October 28 that simply says “yes, I am interested in taking this course.” Please use this e-mail only for indicating your interest in the course. If you have any questions about the course, please contact any of the faculty.
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Occidental College (F-6)
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