Please submit an idea or ideas for your final paper topic. As noted on the sylla

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Aug 13, 2022


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Please submit an idea or ideas for your final paper topic. As noted on the syllabus the final paper details your research on your chosen topic from class about food and should consist of a minimum of 2,400 words. The paper is worth 40% of your grade. You can use any acceptable academic citation method. If you do not have any ideas feel free to submit this and I will work with you on a topic. The History and Politics of Food – Overview
Oddly this class is not really about food directly (i.e., no recipes, no cooking, it won’t help you develop a nutrition plan or prepare you for a career in food services). Yet, it is about how human culture, politics, and well-being have been dramatically affected by our food—how we grow it, sell it, distribute it, and eat it. Homo sapiens have existed for 250,000 years, yet civilization (and written history) emerges only 10,000 years ago. Why? For 240,000 years human beings existed as hunter gatherers chasing their food. It wasn’t until they made a transition to agriculture and domestication of animals for food that they created permanent settlements leading to a division of labor and written language. Throughout history what we eat and how we produce and distribute it has been central to trade, warfare, and the development of social class. Food has spurred political revolutions and has transformed our biological existence—in some cases for the worst and in others for the better. In the 21st century it is easy to take food for granted. Yet we spend 10 percent of each day, on average, consuming food and drink (…even more time earning enough to buy it). We’ve become disconnected from food production in this is the age of the Happy Meal, reheating rather than cooking, and celebrity chefs on multiple TV networks. We’ve forgotten how much time and energy it once took to produce and prepare food. We’ve lost our knowledge of even what is in our food. In this class you will learn about the food we consume now and what we ate in the past and the very real and important consequences of these choices.
Course Books (required)
1) An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage
Publisher : Bloomsbury USA (May 3, 2010)
Paperback : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 0802719910
ISBN-13 : 978-0802719911
2) Food in History by Reay Tannahill
Publisher : Crown; Illustrated edition (May 10, 1995)
Paperback : 448 pages
ISBN-10 : 0517884046
ISBN-13 : 978-0517884041
3) How America Eats: A Social History of U.S. Food and Culture by Jennifer Jensen Wallach
Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; Reprint edition (March 12, 2014)
Paperback : 258 pages
ISBN-10 : 1442232188
ISBN-13 : 978-1442232181
4) Journal articles from JSTOR (listed below)
*Course schedule will be followed but is not a contract.
Course Schedule
Class and topics
Primary readings and multi-media
May 23-29:
Setting the Table: Introduction
Lecture and Multimedia
Assignment: Scratch-made
Tannahill Chs. 1-6
In the Beginning; Cooking in 10,000 BC; Changing the Face of the Earth; The First Civilization; Ancient Greece; Imperial Rome
“The Anthropology of Food and Eating Download The Anthropology of Food and Eating” by Sidney W. Mintz, Christine M. Du Bois Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 31, (2002), pp. 99-119
Origins of Us: Guts (BBC) (Links to an external site.)
May 30-June 5 (No Class Meeting–Monday Holiday):
-Evolutionary food
-The First Great Transition: Hunter-gatherers adopt agriculture… and civilization
-Food and Class in the Ancient World: Egypt, Rome, and Greece
Lecture and Multimedia Standage Chs. 1-4
The Invention of Farming; The Roots of Modernity; Food, Wealth and Power; Follow the Food
“Grasses in Ancient Egypt (Links to an external site.)” by Loutfy Boulos, Ahmed Gamal-El-Din Fahmy Kew Bulletin, Vol. 62, No. 3 (2007), pp. 507-511
June 6-12:
-The Birth of the Great Food Families
-Eastern Food Cultures
-Plague: Fewer People, Bigger People
Lecture and Multimedia Tannahill Chs. 7-13
The Silent Centuries; India; Central Asia; China; Supplying the Towns; The Late Medieval Table
“Baking for the Common Good: A Reassessment of the Assize of Bread in Medieval England (Links to an external site.)” by James Davis The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 57, No. 3 (Aug., 2004), pp. 465-502
June 13-19:
-Trade, Globalization, and Food Fusion in the Age of Exploration
-The origin and evolution of ancient and classical food culture that persists today
Lecture and Multimedia
Assignment: Fieldwork
Standage Chs. 5-6
Splinters of Paradise; Seeds of Empire
“The Problem of Bread and the French Revolution at Bordeaux (Links to an external site.)” by Richard Munthe Brace The American Historical Review, Vol. 51, No. 4 (Jul., 1946), pp. 649-667
June 20-26 (No Class Meeting–Monday Holiday):
-Intro to American Food Cultures
Lecture and Multimedia: Why Europeans hate American chocolate, Where Taco Bell got its taco recipe, Lobster: The forgotten history
Wallach Chs. 1-2
The Cuisine of Contact; Food and the Founding
Tannahill Chs. 14-16
New World; The Americas; Food for the Traveller
Standage Chs. 7-8
New World, New Foods; The Steam Engine and the Potato
“Slavery and American Agricultural History (Links to an external site.)” by Gavin Wright Agricultural History, Vol. 77, No. 4 (Autumn, 2003), pp. 527-552
June 27-July 3:
-Food Anthropology
Lecture and Multimedia: Cod Wars (Links to an external site.), French Paradox (Links to an external site.)
Assignment: Food Analysis
Wallach Chs. 3-4
Foodways in an Era of Expansion and Immigration; Technology and Taste
Tannahill Chs. 17-20
A Gastronomic Grand Tour I & II; The Industrial Revolution; The Food-supply Revolution
“Health and Diet in 19th-Century America: A Food Historian’s Point of View (Links to an external site.)” by Alice Ross, Historical Archaeology, Vol. 27, No. 2 (1993), pp. 42-56
July 4-10 (No Class Meeting–Monday Holiday):
Midterm Exam
No readings or multimedia outside of class
July 11-17:
-Food Science
Video: Download
Tannahill Chs. 21-Epilogue
The Scientific Revolution; Confused New World; Epilogue
Standage Chs. 9-10
The Fuel of War; Food Fight
“Food in Films: A Star Is Born (Links to an external site.)” by Steve Zimmerman Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture, Vol. 9, No. 2 (Spring 2009), pp. 25-34
July 18-24:
-Fast Food Conquers Quickly and Transforms All Food
-Industry, Technology, Capitalism: Food Modernity from Cooking Local to Reheating Global Food (i.e., The revolution will be microwaved… and it will be in nugget form)
Final Paper Idea: Submission
Lecture slides: Download Download Download
Multimedia: Insect Superfood (Links to an external site.), How the US Ruined Bread (Links to an external site.), Eating Old Military Rations Channel (Links to an external site.), Okinawa Diet (Links to an external site.)
Wallach Chs. 5-6
Gender and the American Appetite; The Pious or Patriotic Stomach
“Making Famine History (Links to an external site.)” Cormac Ó Gráda
Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. 45, No. 1 (Mar., 2007), pp. 5-38
July 25-31:
-Ethical Food Movements: Vegetarians, Vegans, and Animal Rights
-Health Matters: Food and Life Expectancy
-Foodies Fight Back: The Modern Food Movement
No Lecture (other than discussion), Final Paper Development
Assignment: Reviewing a Food documentary
Standage Chs. 11-12
Feeding the World; Paradoxes of Plenty
“Trash Eaters (Links to an external site.)” by Scarlett Lindeman
Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Spring 2012), pp. 75-82
August 1-7:
-The Geo-politics of Famine in the Modern World
-Luxury Food and the Celebrity Chef
-The Politics and Policy of Poverty and Hunger in the “Developed” World
-The Multimodal Transport: A Global Grocery
Lecture Slides: Download Download Download
Wallach Chs. 7-8
Food Habits and Racial Thinking; The Politics of Food
“Food Porn (Links to an external site.)” by Anne E. McBride
Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Winter 2010), pp. 38-46
August 8-14:
Informal presentations, final paper work None
August 15-20: Final Paper
Final Paper due Aug. 20
Citation Style
This course uses APA or Chicago style for all writing and research assignments. Resources for this citation style are available through


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