In the twelve years I have taught the documentary studies and cultural anthropology seminar “Our Culinary Cultures” (DocSt 344S/CulAnth 285S), the course has morphed from focusing on the ways in which food holds and sustains communities throughout history and across the globe into a class that dwells on the ways in which food can be an incredibly divisive material, as the role of restaurants in the #MeToo movement recently showed us all.
However, I have never taught in a semester like this one—including the one in which I gave birth during reading week.
When the global COVID-19 crisis hit campus, I again reconsidered the power of food. This seminar involves intense discussions best conducted in person, so students can interpret their readings on food politics collectively. How could I sustain the community of our class now? The new plan: In lieu of our discussions, students would build an online archive called “Food in the Time of COVID-19.” Read more...