Image courtesy of Fallen Fruit

Course Overview

This seminar compares writers, filmmakers, artists, chefs and activists who have both explored and helped to shape California’s diverse food cultures over the past half century. The materials also address social movements ranging from environmental justice to “modernist cuisine.” These materials include cookbooks, menus, restaurant reviews, literary fiction, documentary film, public art projects and popular science writing.

The seminar pursues two questions: How do stories of growing, harvesting, distributing, cooking, eating and sharing food take shape across different genres and different media of storytelling? And how does writing about food open onto and illuminate other social issues—including issues of gender, race, labor, entrepreneurship, sustainability and creativity? With these questions in view, the seminar introduces the growing field of food studies.