I thoroughly enjoyed teaching Food Media at The University of Tulsa this semester. The majority of my twelve students were media studies majors, but others are majoring in music, psychology, political science, and accounting. None of them had taken a food-studies-type course before. Some of them weren’t all that interested in food at the beginning of our semester, though that would change! On our last day of class, we enjoyed a final meal together and worked on a top ten list of what we learned over the course of the semester. Our list includes particular readings, concepts, experiences, skills, and feelings. Here’s what resonated most with my students this semester: Food is more than just food. We should study it seriously. Food reveals a great deal about the structural (in)equalities and (in)justice of the societies in which we live. Food is gendered, from the theorization of food porn to “the woman problem” of the culinary industry to the ongoing inequitable divide of domestic food labor. “Authentic” and “ethnic” are complicated and problematic terms that we’ll …
My students’ Instagram lives made me reflect on mine, my first posts, and who I want to be on the app.
Through historic cookbooks, Instagram, and 30+ virtual guests, “Food Media” critically considers our global food system through media.
My students and I tested out unessays this semester, an assignment I now highly recommend.
My students translated 1500-word essays into infographics. I share details for instructors interested to try a similar assignment.
I reflect on what my students and I read, wrote, and learned in a course on persuasion in the U.S.
I chatted with a first year TU student about researching and teaching in media studies and food studies.
I’m pleased to share the restaurant reviews and interviews my Brown students wrote, working to define American food.
In “Food in American Society and Culture,” we ask and work to answer the polemic, complex, and contradictory question, “How do we define American food and how does food define Americans?”
I wondered how students exposed to critical nutrition studies might view food advice differently and reimagine dietary guidelines. This is what happened.
I’m thrilled to share my students’ final project, an e-journal that culminates our course, “Food and Gender in U.S. Popular Culture,” at Brown University. In this seminar-style course, twenty students (mostly in their first and second years of study) completed four main writing assignments — a cookbook analysis (which I blogged about here), a mini media exhibit, an interview profile, and a restaurant review — all of which engaged the themes of food and gender. For the final project, students worked to revise one of these assignments for inclusion in the class e-journal. We invite you to start with the About page to learn more about the class and our writing. As you will read, these writing assignments expect (and deliver!) clear and sophisticated argument, as well as what we called “compulsively readable” prose. Course readings included not only academic food studies texts, but also a full serving of food writing, providing a taste of different styles and formats. Throughout the semester, we aimed to craft not only compelling thesis statements, but also at least one “aspirational sentence” …
How do cookbooks speak? What stories do they tell—and whose? What do cookbooks reveal about power and how it operates? How do cookbooks communicate and construct gender? These are some of the questions my students and I have pondered lately in our course “Food and Gender in U.S. Popular Culture” at Brown University. For our first assignment, students analyzed how cookbooks prescribe and transgress conventional gender roles. A uniquely interdisciplinary field, food studies scholarship often employs various methods, but the close reading of cookbooks is one method that approaches universality. I’m working with a thoughtful and engaged group of 20 mostly first- and second-year students. While most had read and used cookbooks for cooking, few had previously considered them as elements of popular culture, as valuable historical evidence, as prescriptive literature that shape notions of gender, or as sources in which the so-often-silenced voices of women and people of color can be heard. In an effort to fully scaffold and support our work with cookbooks, we first did some reading. While there are many incredible texts I could have assigned, we read from: Jessamyn Neuhaus. …