Anthropology | Bizarre Foods
A200 | 20948 | Atalay


Pig brains, coffee from digested cat feces, and deep-fried scorpion
are all on the menu for our examination of food preferences,
delicacies, taboos and other cultural engagements with food.  At first
glance, the ingredients may seem quite bizarre.  Yet no matter how
unusual the foods or method of preparation, the simple acts
surrounding eating are intricately linked to culture, identity,
politics, economics, and so much more. Through in-class activities,
group work, and illustrated lectures (including segments from TV shows
such as ‘Bizarre Foods’ and ‘Without Reservation’) this course
examines "bizarre foods" and the cultural links they involve.

We will examine the bizarre foods in our own backyard – you will learn
about the ingredients of a Twinkie, meat production at the local
slaughterhouse, and how bread and wine transform into ‘body and
blood’. We will consider hunger, cannibalism, and dumpster-diving
‘freegans’; and explore ways that people from Indiana to India are
working to preserve their food cultures.

In addition to introducing you to a range of Bizarre Foods from around
the globe, this course is designed to provide you with training in
core anthropology concepts and basic research skills.  These core
concepts are central to an understanding of anthropology, and by the
end of this course you will have a strong command of these
cornerstones of anthropological thought and practice. The basic
research skills will be of use in many other classes, within and
beyond anthropology.

Students will research and organize a presentation for a campus-wide
‘Bizarre Food Fair’ that our class will host at the end of the
semester. All course participants will be encouraged (but not
required) to find, try, and share 'bizzare foods' in the Indiana area.

Course prerequisites: none.