HUM212-1 Food and Society: Ethics and Citizenship (Spring 2017)

Instructor: Dr. Eva Swidler

Day/Time: Monday and Thursday, 10:30am-11:50am

In this introduction to the popular new field of “food studies”, we’ll survey food, something we all love and care about, from a wide variety of angles. Food is both a biological necessity and a cultural pillar, both an economic keystone and part of our most personal routines and choices. Questions we consider in this class therefore straddle just about every discipline. We’ll range from the sciences: What makes a ‘healthy” diet? Can organic agriculture feed the world? to economics: How do agricultural subsidies work? to anthropology: What is the relationship between food and cultural identity? to agronomy: What social forces shapes seed breeding and agricultural research? to history: What effect did the introduction of Native American crops such as potatoes and corn have on the wider world? As a citizenship class, we’ll consider all these questions from the standpoint of ethics, with attention to social problems such as hunger. You’ll never look at your meals the same way!