Course Meeting Times 

Lectures and seminars: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Course Description

This course explores connections between what we eat and who we are through cross-cultural study of how personal and collective identities, social relations, and economic inequalities are formed and maintained via practices of food production, preparation, and consumption. Discussions are organized around critical discussion of what makes “good” food good (tasty, healthy, authentic, ethical, etc.), and draw on anthropological studies as well as recent writing and films on the politics of food and agriculture. A primary goal of the course is to provide students with conceptual tools to understand and evaluate food systems at local and global levels. 

Classes will combine lecture and discussion. Each class is keyed to a set of readings, and it is crucial that students keep up with the readings and be prepared to discuss them in class. Some lectures will directly engage our readings while others will provide contextualizing historical and theoretical information. Occasionally we will break into small groups for more concentrated discussion. Class participation—regular attendance and participation in discussion—will count strongly towards the final grade. Missing more than 2 classes—for any reason—may affect your final grade.

Grading Policy



You must attend class, keep up with readings, and participate in discussions. Short in-class written assignments and informal oral presentations may be asked of you throughout the semester.


Four short written assignments (2 of which are re-writes or elaborations)


Final paper


For more detailed information, see the Assignments section.

Required Text

Gewertz, Deborah, and Frederick Errington. Cheap Meat: Flap Food Nations in the Pacific Islands. University of California Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780520260931. [Preview with Google Books]

All other readings can be found in the Readings table.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

assignment_turned_in Written Assignments with Examples