From the Raw to the Cooked: The Anthropology of Eating - SE585

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) DR A Waldstein







Students will learn about the evolution and significance of food production, especially in relation to globalisation, identity and health. The module will cover different modes of food production, the domestication of animals and the cultivation of staple crops in the course of social development. it will look at different theories about the importance of food production for the rise of urban cultures and organised religion, and the relationship of food production systems to trade, colonial expansion and the process of globalisation. Moving from production and distribution to eating itself, the module will cover notions of food identity at collective and individual levels, by looking at the process of food preparation and consumption and abstinence in different cultural settings. We will also look at various forms of disordered eating, the dynamic relationship between cultures and eating and contemporarary debates over fast food, genetic engineering, and personal identity against the background of rising food prices, regional food shortage and the management of famine in different countries.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

150 hours

Method of assessment

Assessment will be based on coursework- essay (20%), word report (10%) and one 10-minute oral presentation (10%)- and a 2-hour written examination (60%).

Indicative reading

Bordo, S. 1993. Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture and the Body.
Diamond, Jared 1999 Germs, Guns and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. London:
Vintage Books.

Drewnowski, A., and N. Darmon 2005 Food Choices and Diet Costs: An Economic
Analysis. Journal of Nutrition 135(4):900-904.

Etkin, Nina L., ed. Eating on the Wild Side: The Pharmacologic, Ecologic, and Social
Implications of Using Noncultigens. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Guendelman, Sylvia, and Barbara Abrams 1995 Dietary Intake among Mexican-American
Women: Generational Differences and a Comparison with White Non-Hispanic Women.
American Journal of Public health 85:20-25.

Weigel, M. M., et al. 2007 The Household Food Insecurity and Health Outcomes of
U.S.-Mexico Border Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers. Journal of Immigrant and
Minority Health 9:157-169.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

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