Anthropology | Coffee Culture Production & Market
E600 | 0410 | Tucker


Do you start your day with coffee? Coffee is an integral part of life
for consumers and producers around the world, and it is one of the
world's most valuable commodities in terms of total trade dollars.
This course will consider the diverse expressions and ramifications of
"coffee culture," from the farmers who see it as their life, to the
buyers and traders who know it as a living, to the drinkers who can't
imagine life without cups of java.  We will explore the historical
roots of coffee production and trade, including its roles in nation-
building and international power relations, and its modern
implications for environmental change, economic justice, and economic
development.  We will recognize the similarities and contrasts in
labor and market relations between coffee and other important
agricultural export crops, such as chocolate, soybeans, and sugar.
Alternatives to dominant coffee production and marketing practices
will be considered, such as Fair Trade coffee, shade-grown coffee, and
organic coffee.  In light of the recent crisis in coffee prices, we
will address the impacts of market volatility on producers,
processors, distributors and consumers. Why do consumers in the United
States see little change in coffee prices while international prices
experience drastic declines? The course will be run as a seminar, and
involve a fieldwork dimension in Bloomington's coffee shops.  Students
will be graded on their participation in class discussions and
fieldwork, a midterm exam, a research paper, and class presentations.