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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Josephus G Norman
H A&S 398
Seattle Campus

Interdisciplinary Special Topics--Humanities

Special courses drawn from interdisciplinary groups in the humanities. Content varies.

Class description


This junior-senior seminar explores the history, economics, science, and art of coffee, the world’s #2 commodity (after oil). Coffee is an important link between the tropical third world, where it is grown, and the temperate first world, where it is mainly consumed.

A highlight will be visits with large and small Seattle coffee roasters to understand their policies and operations. Guest lecturers will include Seattle scientists who are working with Nicaraguan coffee farmers to improve their product and incomes. We will also indulge in some comparative coffee tasting.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lectures by instructor and guests; Student presentations; Site visits to coffee roasters; Comparative coffee tasting.

Recommended preparation

Junior or senior standing in University Honors program.

Class assignments and grading

Reading of entire text: "The Coffee Book: Anatomy of an Industry from Crop to the Last Drop," Revised and Updated Edition, by Gregory Dicum and Nina Luttinger, New Press, published in 2006; Reserve list of readings and individually-directed library research; One 15-minute and one 8-minute class presentation; Active participation in all seminar sessions and field trips; 3-page final paper.

CR/NC grades will be given based on the quality of: (a) class presentations; (b) questions students ask during visits with coffee roasters and merchants; (c) 3-page final paper.

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Josephus G Norman
Date: 08/22/2007