Semester Project Assignment      Food & Culture   Spring 2006     R. Wilk



The bottom line for this project is that I want to see a substantial independent piece of research on a single food. The one absolute requirement is that your project must include at least one recipe that you are willing to practice, and then cook for our final dinner.


Choosing a good topic is a key part of the assignment, and this is something you should start on right away.  I am going to ask you to submit your project ideas in the form of proposals, just the way I have to do when I want to do my own research. I will outline the proposal format below. The deadline for project proposals is Thursday February 16. You will get the proposals back (as I do) with one of three results- approved, rejected, or revise-and-resubmit.  If it is not approved, I will make suggestions about what needs to be changed, and you will get a deadline for your new proposal.




The first thing you need to do is to read Jennifer Wilkins’ article “Seeing Beyond the Package,” which is from Food, Culture and Society 8(1): 2005.  This pretty much says everything you need to know about how to do this assignment!

Project Format


The paper should be turned in on paper. It should be printed in a clear and simple 12 point font, with one inch margins, double spaced. I love to see graphics, photos, charts, tables, and quotes from original sources.


I will also want your paper as an MSword file, sent to my university email address (wilkr). This version will be posted on a class website. You MUST be very careful about copyright issues – do not include graphics which are owned by someone else, unless you have permission. All quotes must be completely referenced.  Use the absolute minimum of formatting in this file – no fancy headings, fonts or embedded graphics. Images should be submitted as separate files, .gif or .jpg format.


Use the style guide at - pages 7-10 tell you how to do in-text references and a bibliography at the end, or just look at any on-line article from any anthropology or social science journal. It is pretty standardized.


The length should be 12-15 pages for undergrads, more if you need it. Grads should go 20-30 pages.

Proposal Format


The proposal has the following sections, and should not be longer than two double-spaced pages.


1. Title

2. Short, concise statement of the goals of the project

What do you want to know?

What are the limits of your study in time and space?

3. Short statement of your proposed methods

What sources of information do you expect to use?

How do you expect to organize your information?

How will you organize your time so you will finish by the deadline?

4. What recipe do you expect to find and where?


Major Alerts


PAPERS ARE ALL DUE ON MAY 2, the TUESDAY of EXAM WEEK. I do not like to give incompletes. Ask for one well in advance (two weeks minimum), only if you have a medical reason, or some very serious crisis that cannot be solved any other way. I always take points off for late work – my going rate is five points a day.


As you all should know, plagiarism is the act of turning in someone else’s work as your own, without acknowledgement. It is not only dishonest, it can get you thrown out of the university, so don’t do it.