Food is a basic need for human survival, but its presence in our quotidian lives is intriguingly complex. We cut, cook, and serve; we revere, refuse, and throw away; we enjoy, revolt, and tolerate. Our expectations are (inevitably?) formed through culture: The borders of what is, what could be, and what can't be food, intersect with practices of consumption and identity.
This seminar will look at a variety of texts to trace various meanings of food, including cooking shows, recipes, restaurant menus, film, fiction, advertisements, life writing and critical essays. We will broach issues as disparate as waste, gender, ethnicity, ethics, habitus, religion, authenticity, hybridity, globalisation, environmentalism, precarity, nation, and a host of others.
Sessions will be organised around themes that bring together food with key issues (for example: Tuna and Globalization); we will be doing a fair bit of reading as well as thinking about specific cultural artefacts.
Normally, a Reader with a selection of thematically organised texts and a list of topics for term papers would be provided at the beginning of the course to be bought at Printzentrum, Neuer Markt 3. As this seminar will probably be offered online, the necessary materials will be provided in digital form.