FST 55 - Food in American Culture

(4 units) Spring, Summer Session II

INSTRUCTOR: Biltekoff, Charlotte

COURSE GOALS: The course is intended to familiarize students with relationship between food and culture; relationship between food and the social order; influences on eating habits and the tensions between them including identity, convenience, and responsibility; multiple disciplines and genres.

COURSE FORMAT: Three hour lecture and one hour discussion each week.

GRADING PERCENTAGES AND COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Grades will be based on participation and preparation (20%), lecture activities and quizzes (20%), and formal and informal written assignments, including 3 short papers (60%).

EXPLANATION OF POTENTIAL COURSE OVERLAP: Cross listed with AMS 55 Food in American Culture


  • Introduction / What is Food?
  • Identity: community & hierarchy, manners and rituals, gender and the family, ethnicity & authenticity, culinary tourism
  • Convenience: making of the modern food system, meaning and power, social trends – product trends, processed food controversy, anxieties and scares
  • Responsibility and the Future of Food: future of food, access & insecurity, labor, obesity, food waste, future of food debate