syllabus - Anthropology 2450 Spring 2009 Jane Fajans McGraw...

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Jane Fajans Spring 2009 McGraw 202 THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF FOOD AND CUISINE Description You are what you eat! This course examines the way food is produced, prepared, exchanged, presented, and given meaning in cultures around the world. It will examine the symbolism of specific foodstuffs; who prepares food and how it is done; who feeds whom and how these relations are expressed and valued. In addition we will analyze ideas about commensality; how food is used in public contexts for presentation or exchange, and how food is a marker of gender, class, status, ethnicity, and identity. We will look at the production of national cuisines. Since much of our (and others’) food is produced in one place and consumed in another, we will look at changes in food availability and uses in the context of Globalization. We will look at political movements that respond to changes in food and technology. In addition to looking specifically at food, we will analyze cultural ideas about gender, the body, and identity in terms of how these cultural patterns are produced and expressed through concrete activities like eating, fasting, and special diets. In this class we will stress critical and comparative thinking about subjects we tend to take for granted. The challenge will be to see both the everyday and the exotic as shared phenomena. In order to do this we will study aspects of Cornell culture and Ithaca society as well as cultures from around the world. We will enhance our understanding of the role food plays through a variety of literary and visual materials. Course Requirements Class attendance is required and class participation will be considered as part of your overall performance in the course. All reading and writing assignments must be completed on time. Each student must register for and attend a discussion section; additional assignments and writing exercises are performed in sections where attendance will be taken. There will be two Mid-term exams and a final. There will also be two papers of 5-6 pages each on topics that will be distributed during the semester. Midterm I will be on Friday, February 20 th Midterm II will be on Friday April 3 rd Paper I will be due in class on Monday March 9 th Paper II will be due in class on Monday, April 20 th Note: Final exam to be announced. Information for this course can be found at the following site: Blackboard: www.blackboard.cornell.edu. A fter you sign in, go to Anthro2450 The following books are on order at the Campus Store. Counihan, Carole and Penny Van Esterik, editors. 2008. Food and Culture: A Reader . Second Edition. London: Routledge. Pollan, Michael. 2006. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals . New York: Penguin.
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syllabus - Anthropology 2450 Spring 2009 Jane Fajans McGraw...

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