Candace M. Barlow
Seminar study of special topics in language and literary study. Limited to seniors majoring in English.
In recent years, food and “foodies” have become prominent in the cultural scene in America in many ways, from the rise of The Food Network on cable television to the increasing popularity of food and kitchen memoirs and the widely circulated critiques of fast food in film (as in “Super Size Me”) and print (as in Fast Food Nation). Perhaps less known, though just as influential in scholarly circles, are recent histories of food; studies of the ways it circulates in families, nations, and global economies; and literary accounts of relationships with food explored in a range of narrative forms, from poetry to fiction. This course will focus on such literary treatments, asking how and why food becomes a subject for narrative and with which social, cultural, and political consequences for contemporary readers.
Readings will include recent autobiographies, novels, and poems, as well as critical essays by literary scholars, cultural geographers, and food critics. Likely authors and texts will be: M.F.K Fisher, How to Cook a Wolf ; Monique Truong, The Book of Salt; Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential; Jeff Henderson, Cooked; Ruth Ozeki, My Year of Meats; David Mas Masumoto, Epitaph for a Peach; poems by Jimmy Santiago Baca and others; and essays by Michael Ruhlmann, Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan, John Elder, Wendell Berry, and Michel de Certeau. Because this course is a senior seminar, active participation in each discussion is expected and crucial to our work as a class.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Graded work will include participation, response papers, and a final seminar paper.