Food is at the core of all human interactions. This course will focus on food as a “lens” for understudying cultural, economic, political, and social behavior in different parts of the world. We will seek to understand the significance of food in people’s everyday lives as well as in their religious beliefs and practices. Topics to be covered include: food as a marker of social boundaries, such as, caste, class, ethnicity, and gender; exchange and reciprocity; food symbolism such as fasts, feasts, and diets; food and power relationships; the globalization of food industries; food security; alternative food practices; and food and memory, and the development of cookbooks and recipes.
Field WorkCountry: India
Day: 6 - Thursday, 3 March
In this field lab students will visit a local market to learn about the produce available and investigate further what is locally produced and imported, as well as the parties involved in the production and distribution. Students will also attend a cooking class and eat a local meal. They will interview some of the people involved in the food industry that we will meet that day to see what kind of knowledge is required in order to prepare food which is considered Ayurvedic life-giving.