APFS-310: Food History

Class Program
Credits 3

Cuisines are like history; they begin as raw ingredients and raw "facts," and it is the human hand and mind that create them and give them meaning. This class is designed to serve three purposes: first, it is a broad survey of particular moments of change with political, economic, technological, and cultural shifts that impact food. Second, it is a survey of historiography (the practice of historical discipline) by considering the role of theory and methods within the field. Third, we will ruminate on culinary history, meaning how dishes themselves change, as well as how they are made, how they are eaten, and how they are valued. With all of this taken together, students will gain greater understanding of the cultural construction of food and history, by taking not only food and "facts," but also how these "truths" are contested and interpreted by people to give meaning to both the past and the present. These topics are weighty and complicated, certainly, and it would be a disservice to attempt to cover them all from the dawn of civilization to the present, and spanning across the globe. As such, we will concentrate largely on the west, but consider global perspectives as points of comparison.


Introduction to Gastronomy (APFS-150) or Gastronomy (APFS-155), and College Writing (LITC-100).