Course code:



M - Intermediate

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • HS - Human Studies
  • W - Writing

Lab fee:


Typically offered:

Every other year

This course uses food as a lens to explore human origins, cultural diversity, social structure, and human/environment interactions. Through academic articles and films, the course exposes students to the different ways anthropologists think about food and the frameworks they use to answer questions concerning the human experience. The course also engages other disciplinary perspectives—including history, economics, and political ecology—to make larger connections between food and society.

Designed as a survey course, this course introduces students not only to writing as process—prewriting, writing, and rewriting—but also to the broad and dynamic subfield of food anthropology. The course is organized around four themes. The first—human origins, diets, and biocultural evolution—explores the uniqueness of cooking to the human species, and how the co-evolution of human diets and culture has shaped different groups’ dietary needs, practices, and restrictions. The second—globalization and international trade—looks at the flow of foods and food practices around the world, from sugar to sushi. The third—hegemony and difference—considers how race, gender, and class are constructed and expressed through food. The final theme—consumption and embodiment—considers the relationship between eating and the body; readings in this section focus on body image, eating practices, and critical studies of the rhetoric around hunger and obesity. Students are evaluated based on class participation, a series of reflection papers, a dietary analysis, and a recipe project involving a prepared meal, an audio-visual presentation, and a critical analysis paper. This course meets the first-year writing requirement.

Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: None. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $25. Meets the following degree requirements: HS, W



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.