Courses

NFS 095: Farm to Table - Spring only

Course Description: Daily we eat food, but most of us know very little about the system of agricultural production, food processing, distribution, retailing, labeling, and catering that influences each and every individual food choice we make. Neither do we understand the forces influencing this chain of production from farm to table: cultural, political, economic. In this course, we will explore what is involved in the contemporary food system and compare it to some alternative historical models. We'll then ask how did this system develop? What problems was it trying to solve? What unintended consequences flow from this current food system? What are the ways that actors are and might challenge this food system? This course will introduce students to our contemporary food system and the broad, interdisciplinary type of thinking required to make sense of it.

NFS 185/ANTH 185: Food and Culture - Fall only

Course Description: Since the birth of the discipline, anthropologists have been fascinated with the study of food given that it connects to every facet of human life. In this course, we will explore the cultures that produce and are reproduced by our current food system, touching upon its local, national, and global dimensions. The cultivation, preparation, and consumption of food are rich symbolic processes through which we become acculturated and organize ourselves socially, economically, and politically. Together, we
will learn more about what it takes to become an active food citizen as we consider where our food comes from and how the food we eat shapes our identity, our health, and our relationships with others. In this course, we will primarily use the lens and approach of cultural anthropology as we investigate contemporary economic, political, and cultural formations connected to food.

FS 335: Qualitative Research Methods - Spring only

Course Description: This course provides an overview of qualitative research methods and an opportunity to apply such research methods on topics focusing on food systems and health. Although these topics may appear quite varied, there is a profound underlying unity because all qualitative research considers human beliefs, practices and values and the underlying meanings and consequences. The course will explore various qualitative methods including interviews, observation, focus groups, media and document analysis; approaches for collecting and analyzing the results will also be examined. Students will read books and articles using qualitative methods to better evaluate how such a research approach informs academic and general understanding of important issues concerning food systems and health. Students will develop a qualitative research proposal and perform qualitative research on a food systems and/or health topic.


FS 345: Food Systems, Society and Policy - Fall only

Course Description: This course examines key questions being asked about our contemporary food system through the lens of scholarship in the humanities and the social sciences. After close consideration of how these questions are framed, researched and analyzed by social scientists, the class will go on to understand the implications for developing public policy that seeks to develop answers. The course will also involve a systematic investigation of the form and content of transdisciplinary research. This seminar style course will involve discussion, presentations, and collaborations with community partners. Requirements for the course include weekly short papers, a book review, class presentations and a group project and report.

FS 395: Ethics and the Food System - New this fall!

Course Description: Ethics and the Food System is about what its title suggests it's about: ethical issues that arise from our food system. We'll focus on three: the ethics of farmworker treatment, the ethics of organic production methods, and the ethics of hunger relief. Readings will include work by Estabrook, Guthman, Pachirat, Schlosser, and a bunch of philosophers. Lectures and discussion will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Lab sessions--including interviews, farm labor, movie watching, cooking, and food distributing--will take place on Wednesdays. The course will be co-taught by Amy Trubek (NFS) and Tyler Doggett (Philosophy).