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Food Studies at Penn


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Course Offerings Spring 2014


Code Name Instructor Day/Time
ANTH 086 Desire and Demand: Culture and Consumption in the Global Marketplace 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 this 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 analysis 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 237 Foraging and Hunting in Human Evolution Deborah Irene Olszewski TR 10:30-12:00
  Using theoretical frameworks such as Human Behavioral Ecology and Niche Construction Theory, this course examines the evolution of foraging and hunting adaptations in the period between 2 million to 10,000 years ago. Variables and issues from ecology, biology, archaeology, geology, and other fields are considered in building scientific models of human behaviors. These allow for a more informed understanding of human adaptations during periods such as Acheulian Africa, Middle Paleolithic Europe, Middle Stone Age Africa, Pleistocene Australia, the Pleistocene Americas, and so forth.
ANTH 248 Food and Feasting: Archaeology of the Table Katherine Moore TR 10:30-12:00
  Food satisfies human needs on many levels. Anthro 248 explores the importance of food in human experience, starting with the nutritional and ecological aspects of food choice and going on to the social and ritual significance of foods and feasts. Particular attention will be paid to the way that archaeologists and biological anthropologists find out about food use in the past. Contemporary observations about the central significance of eating as a social activity will be linked to the development of cuisines, economies, and civilizations in ancient times. Lectures, discussions, films, food tastings, and fieldwork will be used to explore the course themes.
ANTH 335 Global Food Security for Ten Billion Brian J Spooner, Charlene Compher, Janet Ann Chrzan, Marjorie A. Muecke T 4:30-6:30
(cross-listed with NURS-635, ANTH-635, and NURS-335) This is an interdisciplinary course on the problems of food demand and consumption, production and supply in our increasingly globalized and urbanizing world. Special attention will be given to the intersections of current technologies of food production, current nutritional problems, environmental change and resource degradation, and the changing quality of human social life under globalization. Where and how will sufficient nutritious food be produced sustainably and how can the politics and economics of equitable distribution in such large urban populations be achieved?
ANTH 359 Nutritional Anthropology Francis E Johnston TR 11:30-1:00
(cross-listed with URBS 359 and HSOC-359) AN ACADEMICALLY BASED COMMUNITY SERVICE COURSE. Human nutrition and nutritional status within context of anthropology, health, and disease. Particular emphasis on nutritional problems and the development of strategies to describe, analyze, and solve them. Students will participate in the Urban Nutrition Initiative, an academically based community service project in local area schools.
ANTH 386 Culture, Consumption and Production in the Global Marketplace Marilynne Diggs-Thompson W 5:00-8:00
  The goal of this course is to understand and to investigate both historical and contemporary issues related to a culture of consumption. Reading topics cover both contemporary and scholarly issues in cultural anthropology, popular culture, consumer behavior, off-shore production, social networking, media and communications, financial and real estate markets and marketing. Class distinctions are equally interdisciplinary as we focus on investigating and identifying critical global/local linkages. We analyze the various ways in which Philadelphia and other "global cities" are competing for consumer revenues. We ask what factors have led contemporary society reaching its current stage of mass consumption and how have certain goods and services been reconfigured, packaged or re-packaged to attract new consumers. In order to better understand the link between consumption and production factors we explore the relationship between outsourcing and/or offshore production and modern consumption. Approximately sixty percent of the seminar takes place in the classroom and will include lecture, class discussion, and films. The remaining half of the class meetings will involve local and regional travel. Research assignments emphasize the use of anthropological participant-observation techniques to investigate the relationships between culture and contemporary mass consumption within the contexts of re-gentrification, urbanization and globalization.
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.
COMM 290 Environmental Communication Garrett Broad TR 12-1:30PM
  This course focuses on the intersections between contemporary environmental issues, communication dynamics, media and social change. Students will gain an understanding of several of the primary environmental dilemmas that challenge society at local and global scales. They will investigate the role of media and communication in shaping ideologies, values and behaviors related to human interaction with the natural world. From there, students will interrogate the opportunities and obstacles that characterize social movements that work to encourage environmental justice and sustainability. Case studies will cover a diverse set of environmental topics, including the global industrial food system, the environmental impacts of digital communication technologies, political controversy in energy development, corporate greening efforts, environmental journalism and public understandings of scientific risk. Course materials will include interdisciplinary readings - drawn from communication and media studies, political science, geography, the natural sciences and other fields - as well as relevant films, television shows and other multimedia materials.
CPLN 621 Metropolitan Food Systems Dominic Vitiello R 9:00-12:00
  GRADUATE-LEVEL COURSE. This course introduces students to the planning and development of metropolitan food systems. Major topics include regional planning and policy; sustainable agriculture; food access and distribution; and markets. The class includes a mix of lectures, discussion, and field trips; and students will work on real-world projects in Philadelphia. Ultimately, the course aims to develop students' broad knowledge of food systems planning in the global North and South, with an emphasis on community and economic development strategies for sustainable food systems and food security.
LAW 934 Public Health Law Eric Feldman W 4:30-6:30
  This seminar will examine a number of urgent issues at the intersection of law and public health, particularly those that involve a conflict between the rights of individuals and the well-being of the community. Rather than being wedded to a particular field of legal doctrine, we will use a case study approach to analyze US and international conflicts over (and regulation of) tobacco, junk food, pandemics/vaccines, natural and nuclear disasters, and HIV/AIDS, among others. Several distinguished guests will be invited to speak to the class, and students will have the opportunity to research, write, and present original research.
NELC 235 Food in the Islamic Middle East: History, Memory, Identity Heather J. Sharkey M 2:00-5:00
Benjamin Franklin Seminar. In the tenth century, a scholar named Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq produced an Arabic manuscript called Kitab al-Tabikh "The Book of Cooking".) This volume, which compiled and discussed the recipes of eighth- and ninth-century Islamic rulers (caliphs) and their courts in Iraq, represents the oldest known surviving cookbook of the Arab-Islamic world. Many more such cookbooks followed; in their day they represented an important literary genre among cultured elites. As one food historian recently noted, "there are more cookbooks in Arabic from before 1400 than in the rest of the world's languages put together". This course will take the study of Ibn Sayyarbo's cookbook as its starting point for examining the cultural dynamics of food in the Middle East across the sweep of the Islamic era, into the modern period, and until the present day. It will use the historical study of food and "foodways" as a lens for examining subjects that relate to a wide array of fields and interests. These subjects include politics, economics, agricultural and environmental studies, anthropology, literature, religion, and public health. With regard to the modern era, the course will pay close attention to the social consequences of food in shaping memories and identities - including religious, ethnic, national, and gender-based identities - particularly among people who have dispersed or otherwise migrated.
NURS 065 Fundamentals of Nutrition Monique Dowd/Audrey Caspar-Clark TR 4:30-6 (Caspar-Clark)
MW 9:00-10:30 (Dowd)
  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 De Jonghe TR 4:30-6:00
  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 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 Issues in Nutrition, Exercise and Fitness Kelly A. Dougherty M 1:00-4:00
  An examination of the scientific basis for the relationship between nutrition, exercise and fitness. The principles of exercise science and their interaction with nutrition are explored in depth. The physiological and biochemical effects of training are examined in relation to sports performance and prevention of the chronic diseases prevalent in developed countries.
NURS 516 International Nutrition: The Political Economy of World Hunger Janet Chrzan TR 10:30-12:00
 (cross-listed with NURS 316) AN ACADEMICALLY BASED COMMUNITY SERVICE COURSE. For complete course description, see NURS 316 above.
NURS 517 Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism Charlene Compher/Tanja Kral W 5:00-7:00
  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 12:00-1:30
  Permission Needed From Instructor. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN SEMINAR. AN ACADEMICALLY BASED COMMUNITY SERVICE COURSE. Food: Psychological, cultural, and biological perspectives.