The Anthropology of Food

Discipline: Anthropology
Instructor: Morris
Credits: 3
Day: C
Start: 0800
End: 0915
Field Work: Day Day 1 - Bilbao - Friday, 27 June | Spain
Prerequisites: None. Download Syllabus

This course is a seminar-based investigation into the social, cultural, and political dimensions of food, from its production to its consumption. Readings will be drawn primarily from cultural and medical anthropology and will utilize cross-cultural examples to examine how food variously shapes and reflects cultural values, ideals and relations of power. We will approach food as one of many culturally produced domains of life, exploring: Food and cultural identity; nationalism and eating; social class, lifestyle and taste; global food production in the colonial and postcolonial world; gender and eating disorders; and the rise of obesity and food-related moralities.

Field Work

Country: Spain
Day: Day 1 - Bilbao - Friday, 27 June

Locals claim La Ribera food market is the largest indoor food market in Europe. True or not, La Ribera provides an opportunity to observe the daily hustle and bustle of local food commerce in Spain, as well as the wide variety of culinary goods available in such a marketplace. Students will attend a brief lecture on the history of cuisine and culture in Spain (on ship or at the university) and then visit La Ribera. Afterwards, we will experience a tapas tasting for lunch at a local restaurant. Students will compile observations and descriptions into a three-page reaction/reflection report. Academic Objectives: 1. Learn about the history of food and food markets in Spain 2. Understand transformations of local markets under conditions of globalization 3. Write an ethnographic description of the experience