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Academic Year 2005/2006
Culture and Cuisine
GOVT 105 SP
In a broad sense, cuisine--the culture of food--includes such things as the social institution of the restaurant and social practices of dining, the development of home economics and culinary professionalism, cookbooks
food writers (including MFK Fisher, Calvin Trillin, the Sterns, Paula Wolfert, and John Thorne) as a distinctive literary genre, attitudes and beliefs about health and diet, and many other things. Its breadth and impact
daily life makes cuisine an especially useful way of understanding popular culture and society. Food fashions and trends, for example, reflect larger social inclinations and changing understandings about such things as
diversity, the role of women in society and at home, and assorted philosophies about health, diet (witness fear of food) and religion. Our exploration will range across a wide variety of materials, including scholarly
and articles, fiction good and bad, readings in popular journals and newspapers, films, and the Internet.
Arlene Voski Avakian, THROUGH THE KITCHEN WINDOW
Richard Klein, EAT FAT
Spadley & Mann, COCKTAIL WAITRESS
John Thorne, SERIOUS PIG
Gary Fine, KITCHENS
EXAMINATIONS AND ASSIGNMENTS
To be announced.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS and/or COMMENTS
Among the particular topics we shall consider will be how cuisine reflects--and perhaps promotes--ethnic diversity and pluralism. Likewise, we shall want to explore how notions of haute cuisine and regional cuisines
contribute to social stratification
and geographic identity. In addition, we will want to use the concept of cuisine as a way of understanding changing gender and class roles in the United States. Finally, we will always be concerned with an overarching
question: Is there an "American"
cuisine? I suspect we will find that this question is just another way of asking: What is America? We shall see that processes of inclusion and exclusion, central to our collective and self-identity, lie at the heart
of changing definitions of America a
nd "American" food.
Gen Ed Area Dept:
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Last Updated on MAR-30-2006
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