AP/ANTH 3190 3.00
FOOD, EATING AND NUTRITION IN CROSS-CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE
Nutritional anthropology, a subfield of medical anthropology, examines the relations between food, culture and biology.
This course explores the social and cultural basis of human food systems using a cross-cultural approach. Nutritional anthropology, a subfield of medical anthropology, integrates an understanding of human biology with the social and cultural basis of human food systems. We will begin by examining nutrition and the cultural construction of bodily needs, as well as transformations of traditional and indigenous food systems and dietary practices.
Our study of food and eating requires an understanding of the food system from multiple theoretical perspectives. We explore the many social meanings of food, and consider theories intent on deciphering the symbolic structures that underlie food taboos and customs. What we eat and how we eat is also part of who we are. Using ethnographic examples, we investigate how food is involved in the making of ethnic and national identities, as well as bodies, personalities and lifestyles. Finally, we explore global and social transformations of food and culture involving industrialization, corporatization, and food movements, considering how food, eating and nutrition intersection with power, poverty, and food security.
Format: Three seminar hours