OverviewStudents 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:
12 lecture, 12 seminar
This module contributes:
BSc in Medical Anthropology, BSc Anthropology, BA Anthropology
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%).
Bordo, S. 1993. Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture and the Body.
Diamond, Jared 1999 Germs, Guns and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. London:
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.
Critically assess human nutritional requirements/recommendations from an evolutionary perspective.
Understand the complexity of the relationships between food production, cultural evolution and globalisation, including the significance of current global trading regimes in food production and shortage.
Trace the origins and histories of specific foods that are consumed in various cultural settings.
Understand the role of food consumption in the development of social/cultural identity and diversity.
Evaluate current hypotheses about the development of disordered eating patterns.