Communication and Culture | Food Performance and Communication
C433 | 28170 | Robinson,J

CMCL-C 433: Food Performance and Communication
Class Number: 28170

TuTh, 1:00 PM-2:15 PM, C2 203

Fulfills College S&H Requirement

Instructor: Jennifer Robinson
Office: C2 275
Phone: 855-4607

C433 Food Performance and Communication investigates food as a
cultural and communicative device, including how it functions in
language, icons, ideologies, and power systems.  The course focuses
on contemporary uses of and attitudes about food in daily use,
rituals, spectacles, festivals, and political movements, including
sustainable, organic, local, and slow food movements.

Now is an especially apt moment to develop more nuanced
understandings of how food functions in language, icons, values, and
power systems, as the global food industry begins to meet responses
from local and traditional populations. The course examines how
people use food, as well as language and symbols about food, in
contemporary performances of everyday life; in such events as
rituals, spectacles, festivals, or fairs; and in the social and
economic dimensions of environmental sustainability movements.  We
will address questions about how people use food and language about
food to communicate their social values, how they use them to
advance social ends, and how food intersects with issues of race,
class, and gender.  The course is discussion based and requires
original fieldwork at local food-related sites.

Readings include such authors as Barthes, Levi-Strauss, Certeau and
Giard, Schlosser, and Pollan.  The subjects include the implications
of taboo foods, religious foods, fast foods, health foods, obesity,
and ethnic and punk cuisines.  Major projects will include two exams
and a critical account of the cultural and political significance of
one food.