ENVIRON 139 - First-Year Seminar in the Environment
Section: 002 How America Eats in the 21st Century: The Literature of the Modern Food Movement
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Program in the Environment (ENVIRON)
Department: SNE Program in the Environment
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Food is central to our lives, culture, and wellbeing. From the early days of the Republic, food production has been an economic engine for the US, shaping our social and political processes. Food is also a cultural touchstone: a first foray into the dining hall with a sea of unfamiliar faces, a first date over dinner, a late night trek to Insomnia Cookies. American food has evolved from the meat and potatoes of the 1950’s to today’s Farm to Table movement. Each iteration illustrates bits of our nation’s historical moments, like the Victory Gardens during World War I and II.

American farmers, chefs, social justice advocates, and writers have chronicled these evolutions in both word and deed. At UM we are leading efforts to ameliorate food deserts in Detroit, working for food justice, and educating ourselves through hands-on experiential learning at the Campus Farm. This course will explore the writers of the modern food movement. We’ll visit local food producers, farmer’s markets, and host writers and farmers in our classroom.

Contact Virginia Murphy with any questions: vemu@umich.edu

Course Requirements:

Students will earn grades through participation in class discussion, engagement in the East Quad garden, written responses to readings, activities, and speakers, and a final group project. At least one field trip will require a weekend time slot.

Intended Audience:

First year students

Class Format:


ENVIRON 139 - First-Year Seminar in the Environment
Schedule Listing
002 (SEM)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
Note: Seats in First Year Seminars are opened gradually during Summer Orientation. Only 1st-yr students, including those with soph std, may register.
005 (SEM)
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780399185601
Locally laid : how we built a plucky, industry-changing egg farm--from scratch, Author: Amundsen, Lucie B.,
ISBN: 1594866872
The ethics of what we eat : why our food choices matter, Author: Singer, Peter, 1946-, Publisher: Rodale 2007
ISBN: 1439171971
The american way of eating : undercover at walmart, applebee's, farm fields and the dinner table, Author: McMillan, Tracie., Publisher: Scribner 2014
ISBN: 0316127167
Eating animals, Author: Foer, Jonathan Safran, 1977-, Publisher: Little, Brown & Company 2013
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