Teaching Food and Culture  book cover
1st Edition

Teaching Food and Culture

ISBN 9781629581279
Published June 30, 2015 by Routledge
213 Pages

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Book Description

With the rapid growth and interest in food studies around the U.S. and globally, the original essays in this one-of-a-kind volume aid instructors in expanding their teaching to include both the latest scholarship and engage with public debate around issues related to food. The chapters represent the product of original efforts to develop ways to teach both with and about food in the classroom, written by innovative instructors who have successfully done so. It would appeal to community college and university instructors in anthropology and social science disciplines who currently teach or want to develop food-related courses. This book -illustrates the creative ways that college instructors have tackled teaching about food and used food as an instructional device;-aims to train the next generation of food scholars to deal with the complex problems of feeding an ever-increasing population -contains an interview with Sidney Mintz, the most influential anthropologist shaping the study of food

Table of Contents

Part 1: Teaching Food

Chapter 1: Introduction: Teaching With and Through Food, Candice Lowe Swift and Richard Wilk

Chapter 2: Interview with Sidney Mintz, Candice Lowe Swift and Richard Wilk

Part 2: Nutrition and Health

Chapter 3: Teaching Obesity: Stigma, Structure, and Self, Alexandra Brewis, Amber Wutich and Deborah Williams

Chapter 4: Are We What Our Ancestors Ate? Introducing Students to the Evolution of Human Diet, Jeanne Sept

Chapter 5: Just Milk? Nutritional Anthropology and the Single Food Approach, Andrea S. Wiley

Part 3: Food Ethics and the Public

Chapter 6: Teaching the Experience and Ethics of Consumption and Food Supply, Peter Benson

Chapter 7: Ethnography of Farmers Markets: Studying Culture, Place, and Food Democracy, Carole Counihan

Chapter 8: Using Volunteer Service in Courses about Food, Janet Chrzan

Part 4: Food, Identity, and Consumer Society

Chapter 9: Teaching Restaurants, David Sutton and David Beriss

Chapter 10: Developing Pedagogies for the Anthropology of Food, Brian Stross

Chapter 11: Teaching Communication and Language with Food, Amber O’Connor

Chapter 12: The Last Course: Relating Research to Teaching about Food, Penny van Esterik

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Candice L. Swift is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Vassar College and a founding director of the college’s Multidisciplinary Learning-Living Community on Food. She has studied Russian language, history, and culture in the former Soviet Union, conducted research on nationalism in post-Soviet Central Asia, and currently focuses on cultural citizenship and diasporic identification on the Indian Ocean Island of Mauritius. She has been teaching courses on food, culture, and sustainability for several years, and has initiated a number of service-based learning opportunities around issues related to food.

Richard Wilk is Provost’s Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University where he directs the Food Studies Program. His recent edited books are Time, Consumption, and Everyday Life (with Elizabeth Shove and Frank Trentmann, Berg Publishers, 2009), and Rice and Beans: A Unique Dish in a Hundred Places (with Livia Barbosa, Berg, 2011). He has been teaching courses on food and culture and food, sex and gender for more than a decade.


“As Food Studies courses multiply and growing numbers of students are eager to reflect critically on all things food, this book offers stimulating ideas for topics, readings, and assignments to instructors, both veterans and new to the field. The editors have gathered thoughtful contributions that reach out well beyond anthropology, providing useful pedagogical tools to all those who want to teach about contemporary society with and through food.”

—Fabio Parasecoli, The New School

Teaching Food and Culture offers exciting, innovative pedagogical approaches to topics across the spectrum of the anthropology of food. Firmly grounded in the authors’ respective specialisms, collectively these chapters demonstrate the vital importance in the study of food of connecting multiple perspectives, theories and methods. The volume will be an indispensable resource for teachers in the anthropology of food and food studies.”

—Jakob Klein, Department of Anthropology and Food Studies Centre, SOAS, University of London, co-founder of the SOAS master’s programme in the Anthropology of Food