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Food Studies at Penn


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Course Offerings Spring 2013


Code Name Instructor Day/Time
ANTH 086 Desire and Demand Marilynne Diggs-Thompson M 2:00-5:00
  Does consumption shape culture or does culture shape consumption? As even the most mundane purchase becomes socially symbolic and culturally meaningful we can persuasively argue that the concept of "need" has been transformed. Analyzing a variety of physical and virtual consumer venues, the goal of htis seminar is to understand and to analyze historical and contemporary issues related to a culture of consumption. We investigate social and political-economic factors that impact when and how people purchase goods and argue that behavior attached to consumption includes a nexus of influences that may change periodically in response to external factors. Readings and research assignments are interdisciplinary and require a critical analyses of global/local linkages. The city of Philadelphia becomes the seminar's laboratory as we ask how have issues of culture, consumption, and global capitalism become intertwined around the world?
ANTH 252 Food Habits in Philadelphia Communities Jane Kauer T 1:30-4:30
(cross-listed with URBS 352) An ABCS (Academically Based Community Service) course. In this course, Penn Undergraduates will explore and examine food habits, the intersection of culture, family, history, and the various meanings of food and eating, by working with a middle-school class in the Philadelphia public schools. The goal of the course will be to learn about the food habits of a diverse local community, to explore that community's history of food and eating, and to consider ways and means for understanding and changing food habits. Middle school students will learn about the food environment and about why culture matters when we talk about food. Topics include traditional and modern foodways, ethnic cuisine in America, food preferences, and 'American cuisine'. The course integrates classroom work about food culture and anthropological practice with frequent trips to middle school where undergraduates will collaborate with students, their teachers, and a teacher partner from the Agatson Urban Nutrition Initiative (UNI). Students will be required to attend one of two time blocks each week to fulfill the service learning requirement-times TBA. Undergraduates will be responsible for weekly writing assignments responding to learning experience in the course, for preparing materials to use middle school children, being participant-learners with the middle school children, and for a final research project. The material for the course will address the ideas underlying university-community engagement, the relationships that exist between food/eating and culture, and research methods.
BIOE 590-002 Doing Right by Eating Well: The Ethics of Food Anne Barnhill T 4:30-7:00
  Eating is an essential human activity: we need to eat to survive. But alas, we need not eat well to survive, and many of us don't. This course is about eating well: eating in a way that meets our moral responsibilities towards animals, towards other people, and towards ourselves. We'll consider such questions as: Is it morally wrong to make animals suffer and to kill them in order to eat them? Does it depend upon the animal (e.g. cows vs. clams)? What are the impacts on animals of various eating habits (e.g. meat-eating, "conscientious omnivorism," vegetarianism, veganism)? Do we have moral obligations to adopt (or to abandon) the relevant eating habits? If a morally problematic food production practice will continue regardless of whether you purchase the food product in question, do you have any moral reason not to purchase that food product? Should we eat in ways that express and honor our humanity, our cultures, our religions, and our family traditions; or is this comparatively unimportant? Should the government try to influence our food choices, to make them healthier?
BIOL 017 The Biology of Food Scott Poethig MWF 1:00-2:00/Lab F 2:00-3:00
  FULFILLS LIVING WORLD SECTOR REQUIREMENT. An ABCS (Academically Based Community Service) course. This non-science-majors course presents major themes in biology by examining the nature of food and the ways in which humans modify, and have been modified by, the organisms we eat. The first part of the course concerns the chemistry, structure, and physiology of plants and animals, and provides a brief introduction to human nutrition. The second part presents fundamental concepts in genetics and evolution as illustrated by the origin and genetic modification of domesticated organisms. Finally, we will consider how food is produced, and the place of agriculture in the global economy. Lectures will be supplemented by demonstrations, laboratory exercises, field trips, and movies. Students will work in small groups on a library- or activity-based project, which they will present to the class.
CINE 397 Food in Latin American History and Culture Victoria Garcia-Serrano MWF 11-12 NOON
(cross-listed with SPAN 397-402and LALS 398) For complete course description, see SPAN 397-402.
HIST 203 Early American through Food Christopher Parsons W 2:00-5:00 PM
  From the first thanksgiving to the emergence of regional cuisines, food has profoundly shaped early American history. This course examines the history of food in America between the sixteenth century and the Revolution. While students will use primary and secondary sources to understand the history of food in this period (as it was produced, consumed, and traded), we will place a particular emphasis on understanding the place of good in the encounter between European, African, and Native American peoples. Students will also learn how they might use a specific topic such as food to understand US history as a whole.
LALS 398 Food in Latin American History and Culture Victoria Garcia-Serrano MWF 11-12 NOON
(cross-listed with SPAN 397-402 and CINE 397) For complete course description, see SPAN 397-402.
NURS 065 Fundamentals of Nutrition Jennifer Dolan/Audrey Caspar-Clark TR 4:30-6 (Dolan/Caspar-Clark)
TR 6-7:30 (Dolan/Caspar-Clark)
  Essentials of normal nutrition and its relationship to the health of individuals and families. These concepts serve as a basis for the development of an understanding of therapeutic application of dietary principles and the nurse's role and responsibility in this facet of patient care.
NURS 112 Nutrition Science and Applications Bart-Gerard C De Jonghe TR 4:30-6:00, TR 6:00-7:30PM
  An overview of the scientific foundations of nutrition. The focus is on the functions, food sources and metabolism of carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. Effects of deficiency and excess are discussed and dietary recommendations for disease prevention are emphasized. Current issues and controversies are highlighted. Students will analyze their own dietary intakes and develop plans for future actions.
NURS 316 International Nutrition: The Political Economy of World Hunger Janet Chrzan TR 10:30-12:00
 (cross-listed with NURS 516) An ABCS (Academically Based Community Service) course. A detailed consideration of the nature, consequences, and causes of hunger and undernutrition internationally. Approaches are explored to bringing about change, and to formulating and implementing policies and programs at international, national, and local levels, designed to alleviate hunger and under-nutrition.
NURS 376 Nutrition, Exercise, and Fitness Karen Dougherty M 1:00-4:00
NURS 516 International Nutrition: The Political Economy of World Hunger Janet Chrzan TR 10:30-12:00
 (cross-listed with NURS 316) An ABCS (Academically Based Community Service) course. For complete course description, see NURS 316 above.
NURS 517 Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism Charlene Compher/Tanja Kral MW 4:30-6:00
  Essentials of nutritional biochemistry from the molecular level to the level of the whole human organism. Nutrient functions and inter-relationshps are explored with attention to the association between nutrients and disease risk. Topics include energy metabolism and regulation of fat storage, new functions of vitamins and minerals, gene nutrient interactions and current research topics.
PSYC 070 Psychology of Food Paul Rozin TR 1:30-3
  BENJAMIN FRANKLIN SEMINAR. FULFILLS QUANTITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS REQUIREMENT. An ABCS (Academically Based Community Service) course. Food: Psychological, cultural, and biological perspectives.
SPAN 397-402 Food in Latin American History and Culture Victoria Garcia-Serrano MWF 11-12 NOON
(cross-listed with CINE 397 and LALS 398) Prerequisite(s): Spanish 219 or Spanish 223. Through a wide range of discourses (historical, sociological, literary, psychoanalytical and cinematographic), this course will examine the multiple roles played by food from Pre-Columbian times to the present in Latin America. Focusing primarily on Mexico and Cuba, we will learn about the significance of corn and chocolate for the Aztecs, the culinary experimentations and innovations carried out in convents during the colonial period, the connection between cuisines and national identity, the sugar plantations in Cuba and the slave trade in the nineteenth century, and the resources used by hungry Cubans during the so-called "Special Period."