Anthropology of Food

Anthropology 4215

Content of the Course

Food may be the most synthetic topic there is: it is a key topic is all social sciences, all humanities, and many physical sciences. In this course we are concerned with both the production and consumption of food, and with the cultures and histories and politics of food. We begin the semester by reading Michael Pollan's Defense of Food, which explores the network of vested interests that shape how we (especially in the US) think about food. But Pollan is also a big believer in "traditional diets," which is fascinating from anthropological and historical perspectives since foodways are so endlessly dynamic, and we spend much of the following weeks reading some wonderful studies of just this. For a good idea specific readings, see the syllabus.