Good to Eat, Good to Think: Food Studies Pedagogy and Curriculum

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The Food and Culture Area of the Southwest/ Texas Popular and American Culture Association invites papers on Food Studies Pedagogy and Curriculum for their 34th Annual Conference that will be held February 13-16 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel & Conference Center in Albuquerque, NM.

While full departments dedicated to food studies are rare, the study of food has been steadily growing. Conducted through disciplines as various as sociology, business, anthropology, English, women's studies, and American studies, the study of food is so broad as to render it a model for interdisciplinary work.

However, being multi-disciplinary also poses clear pedagogical, intellectual, and practical institutional challenges for those who would implement interdisciplinary food related scholarship, or who would require the same of their students. To what extent has the reticence of students, faculty, or administrators to work within and from differing epistemologies and disciplines—overcoming the prevailing notion of discreet subjects of learning—been an obstacle to developing food studies curriculum?

Further, if, as Kima Cargill offers in her brief exploration of "Food Studies in the Curriculum," "nearly all of the courses tend to be somewhat political in nature, in that they emphasize topics such as sustainability, ethics, and gender and class equity" (2005), to what extent does the nature of food studies require or promote political engagement and advocacy, whether from students or instructors or both?

While papers on any aspect of pedagogy and food studies would be welcome, the panel is especially interested in sharing the experience of instructors regarding:

  • Practical discussions and lesson plans related to the use of popular culture in food studies classrooms
  • Teaching which incorporates local community, including producers and consumers, and suggestions of the challenges/benefits therein
  • Obstacles to teaching/developing food studies in college settings
  • Food studies and the politics of food on college campuses
  • Discussion of theoretical or discipline specific approaches to food studies, which might be more broadly applicable
  • Food studies as approach to global/colonial/post-colonial understanding
  • Food studies as vehicle for discussions of gender, class, race, environment, sustainability
  • The use of food documentaries in the classroom
  • The challenges of student research in an ever changing field
  • The classroom as an accidental site of advocacy
  • The classroom as an intentional site of advocacy

Proposals for individual presentations and panels, including abstracts and short CVs, should be uploaded to the SW/TX PCA/ACA database ( by 16 November 2012.

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