English | Projects in Reading and Writing
W170 | 1821 | Emily Walker Heady


"Reading (and Writing) Food Culture" seeks to develop and hone
students' critical reading and writing skills through exploration of a
topic that often proves provocative, rich, and entertaining:  food.
Texts analyzed in this class will be taken from a variety of sources,
including canonical works of literature (Hemingway's A Moveable Feast
and Woolf's To the Lighthouse, for example), prominent food writers
ranging from M.F.K. Fisher to Martha Stewart, diverse essayists such
as Sara Suleri and Wole Soyinka, food marketing texts (advertisements,
menus, etc.), and popular shows from the Food Network.  In this
course, students will be asked to think about food on a variety of
levels -- not only to appreciate and evaluate its deservedly powerful
role in culture, but also, through research, critical writing, and
wide reading, to make some sense of the many ideological functions
food serves in our society.  It is my hope that this class will build
on knowledge and interests students already have -- most of us love
food, after all, and certainly we all find it worth our time -- and
thus introduce the processes of critical reading and writing in a
fairly painless, even appetizing, way.  Students should know that
although the assignment sequence for this class is quite structured,
the topics are not pre-assigned.  While this format allows students to
explore their own interests, it also requires a good deal of
independent thinking and research, so students should come prepared to
be creative, active learners.