You are what you eat, they say, but what, precisely, determines our eating habits and what, exactly, do they say about us? How do these habits influence our relations with others in our communities and beyond? Eating is an activity common to all human beings, but how do the particularities and meanings attributed to this activity vary across different times and places? Using literature, visual media, cookbooks, food-based art, and advertisements as our starting point, we will examine how food perception, production, preparation, consumption, exchange, and representation structure individual and communal identities, as well as relations among individuals and communities around the globe. Our focus on this most basic of needs will allow us to analyze how food conveys and limits self-expression and creates relationships as well as delimits boundaries between individuals and groups. Materials will be drawn from a wide range of disciplines including, but not limited to, literary and gender studies, psychology, anthropology, history, sociology, and economics.
This course fulfills the Human Behavior (GB) requirement for Temple students under GenEd. Students cannot receive credit for this course if they have successfully completed Spanish 0837 or Spanish 0937.