This 360° uses the frameworks of history, cultural studies, and archeology to examine the relationship between foodways and migration. Through the interplay of history, literature, and archeological practice, students will learn about the roles foodways (practices of food production, distribution, and consumption) play in migration (both people and objects), as the cluster elevates questions about cultural belonging, social policy, citizenship, and community. They will study comparative urban sites of transnational migration, and look at food policy on a multinational level.
Foodways and Migration Courses:
Archeology 218: Food and Archeology in Greece, Past and Present
This course explores what we know and how we know about food and migration in the Greco-Roman and Byzantine worlds through the study of nineteenth-century to contemporary methodologies. We consider the material and visual culture of ancient and medieval food, foodways, and the intersections of cultures in Greece and the crossroads of the eastern Mediterranean, with a focus on the history and development of archaeological, art historical, anthropological, and scientific approaches. We make use of texts and artifacts—from organic materials to transport, cooking, and serving vessels—held in Bryn Mawr College Special Collections. Taught by Camilla MacKay.
English 255: Food and the Transnational City: New York, New Orleans, and Los Angeles
This course, taught by Stephen Vider, explores how transnational migration and urbanism have shaped and reshaped eating, shopping, and cooking patterns, and how cities and foodways together reshaped and reflected broader patterns of identity and belonging. How have food and foodways been mobilized in constructions of heritage? How have cooking and eating patterns been transformed by migration and immigration? How have consumer spaces operated as sites of kinship, community, assimilation, and resistance?
History 298: Case Studies in the Politics of Food and Migration
In America, with its confounding combination of engorging bounty and tragic poverty, food represents a special nexus of the political and the personal. This course, taught by Sharon Ullman, looks at this history in the American context focusing on the food politics behind mobile populations. Topics include how food shaped the early colonies and the institution of slavery; the ways in which financial policies governing food production during the early 20th century created internal migration imperatives that refashioned entire communities; and how foreign policy from the Cold War to today has helped trigger famine and refugee crises. Students will see the all too often masked connections between politics on the national or international level and the local effects on food and survival for peoples on the move around the globe.