HISTORY 197 - First-Year Seminar in the Humanities
Section: 004 The Omnivore's Past: A Global History of Food and Eating
Term: WN 2015
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Other:
FYSem
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Do you eat food? If so, then this class might be for you. In Omnivore’s Past, we will explore the relationship between humans and the things they eat, from the adoption of agriculture up to McDonald’s and American foodways. On the one hand, this course emphasizes the fundamental , but often overlooked role of food in certain historical conjunctures. What if we think of the spread of Islam not in terms of ideology, but as a movement facilitated by spice merchants? What if the decisive fuel in World War 2 was the caffeine in Allied coffee, and not the uranium in atomic bombs? On the other hand, this course uses food as a category to reflect on human institutions across time and around the globe. We might ask what the food systems of Uruk, Rome, and Tenochtitlan tell us about coercion and state power, or what the consumption of sugar in nineteenth century Britain reveals about leisure and class identity. Thus, Omnivore’s Past is a world history that subverts conventional narratives and uses food to grapple with some of the major ideas in the study of the past.

We will consume information in a variety of forms in this class, in archaeological reports, secondary texts, cookbooks, TED Talks, cooking shows, and a film.

Course Requirements:

To evaluate your comprehension I will assign two short papers, a midterm and final, and a few in-class exercises

Intended Audience:

This course is pitched to first-year students.

Class Format:

Half of our days will be devoted to discussing assigned readings, while the other half will include lectures, debates, and engagements with other media. Typically, Mondays will be reserved for discussion, while Wednesdays will be the utility day

HISTORY 197 - First-Year Seminar in the Humanities
Schedule Listing
002 (SEM)
P
26983
Closed
0
7Y1
-
Tu 3:00PM - 6:00PM
003 (SEM)
P
29431
Open
5
5Y1
-
MW 8:30AM - 10:00AM
004 (SEM)
P
30326
Closed
0
4Y1
-
MW 8:30AM - 10:00AM
005 (SEM)
P
30367
Closed
0
1Y1
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
006 (SEM)
P
31555
Open
1
2Y1
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.


ISBN: 0415977770
Food and culture : a reader, Author: edited by Carole Counihan and Penny Van Esterik., Publisher: Routledge 2nd ed. 2008
Required
ISBN: 0140092331
Sweetness and power : the place of sugar in modern history, Author: Sidney W. Mintz., Publisher: Penguin Books 1986
Required
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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