Fall 2020 food-related classes

Click on the arrows to read more information about each course.

At the School of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering (ASE):

  • ANTH 161 Fieldwork Lab
    A hands-on field course in ethnographic methods, the signature toolkit of cultural anthropology. Individual and collaborative small-scale projects. Students develop skills and experience in key strategies of “participant-observation”; research design; spatial, visual, and discourse analysis; formal and informal interviewing; fieldnote writing and coding; ethnographic writing. Fieldwork ethics, including IRB applications. Questions arising from the politics of difference, encounter, experience, and representation in relation to scholarly, community, and industry/client interests. Intensive but suitable for students at all levels. Monday 1:20-4:20 pm, Cathy Stanton (hybrid)
  • BIO 8 Microbiology of Food
    Systems-based approach to how microbes play critical roles in the production, processing, and consumption of foods. Tools that microbiologists are using to study the microbiology of food systems; basic principles of microbial diversity, ecology, evolution, physiology, and genetics using a farm-to-gut approach. Equal attention to beneficial microbes as well as the historical and contemporary impacts of pathogens. Guest lectures from farmers, chefs, and local food producers and in-class demonstrations and tastings.  Tues/Thurs 6:30-9 pm
  • BIO 10/ENV 10 Plants and Humanity
    Principles of botany accenting economic aspects and multicultural implications of plants, their medicinal products, crop potential, and biodiversity. Emphasis placed on global aspects of this dynamic science, with selected topics on acid rain, deforestation, biotechnology, and other applications. Also covered are medicinal, poisonous, and psychoactive species, as well as nutritional sources from seaweeds and mushrooms to mangos and durians. Three lectures. Tues/Thurs/Fri 9:30-10:20 am, George Ellmore
  • BIO 185/ENV 182 Food for All: Ecology, Biotechnology and Sustainability
    An interdisciplinary examination of the pros and cons of two divergent approaches to meeting the increasing global food demand: organic farming and genetic engineering. Contrasting crops grown in developing and industrialized countries serve as case studies to evaluate: (1) how ecological knowledge makes food production more sustainable; (2) what existing and emerging approaches can, in the face of climate change, contribute to a reliable supply of nutritious food; and (3) the political and economic drivers that shape who has access to these technologies. An important focus is developing communication skills for negotiating stakeholder-specific perspectives (growers, advocacy groups, industry, governmental agencies). Please see departmental website for specific details. Recommendations: Intro Bio or Intro Chemistry or equivalent. Mon 1:20-4:20 pm Colin Orians/Sara Gomez
  • ED 14 Food and Schools
    The story of food and schools, investigations into students’ own school experiences as they relate to food and school; the history of food in U.S. schools; the ways by which school food is a battleground for many beliefs about school and society; and how some schools approach feeding students and teaching about nutrition and food. Field work will involve visits to local educational institutions. Tues/Thurs 10:30-11:45, Ryan Redmond
  • ENV 009 Food Systems
    Introduction to the structure and functions of past, present, and future food systems. Emphasis is placed on the psychological, biological, social, economic and political systems that impact food production, processing, distribution, and consumption. Examination of real-world issues facing stakeholders in the New England food system. Mon/Wed 9-10:15 am, Cathy Stanton
  • ENV 195-03 / NUTR 0497.03D Global Alternative Food Networks
    This is an international and comparative course on alternative food networks (AFN), coordinated efforts designed to promote more sustainable food systems around the globe. Alternative agricultural practices and food movements across the global North and South will be examined, with case studies from countries such as the U.S., Peru, South Africa, India, among others. The course draws primarily from social movement theory, development studies, and agroecology as the bases for inquiry. Students will compare AFN initiatives and discourses from across diverse global geographies and evaluate their potential to create systemic change across the food system. Mon 9 am-12 pm, Kevin Cody (virtual)
  • ENV 196 Sustaining Your Drink
    (Cross-listed w/SPN 091). An interdisciplinary exploration of coffee, yerba mate, and wine. These beverages are part of the collective memory of Latin America since colonial times, and this course unpacks the numerous layers of history, science, and culture intertwined in their development and production. Major topics include their contribution in shaping modern nations and defining cultural identities, tensions between production and environmental sustainability, and prospects for future sustainability. Throughout the semester students will work with researchers, producers, and students in Argentina, Chile and Costa Rica as they build knowledge and collaborate on their final project. The course is sponsored by the Provost’s office Global Integrated Learning and Design program, and as such it is intended to provide students with a cross-cultural experience. Instruction will be in English but knowledge of basic Spanish is advantageous. Tues/Thurs 1:30-2:45 pm, Nina Gerassi-Navarro and Colin Orians (virtual)
  • EXP 01 Urban Agriculture: Feeding Our Cities and Ourselves
    This course will look at current and historical approaches to successfully feeding our cities and ourselves. We will explore rooftop farms, abandoned lots, thriving community food hubs and ecological design to help us better understand the potential of urban agriculture today. We will look at different ways individuals can grow their own food in urban spaces while also exploring systems and larger institutional approaches to growing food. Wed 6-8:30 Lindsay Allen
  • EXP 17 Phages: Medicine and Agriculture
    How do we confront the very real dangers of antibiotic resistant bacteria in this age of worldwide pandemics? This course is an opportunity to join the quest for new bacteriophages: viruses that infect and kill bacterial cells. As antibiotic resistance among bacteria increases, scientists are increasingly investigating the infection-fighting potential of bacteriophages, aka phages, for novel treatments in medicine and applications in agriculture. Students in this immersive, lab-based course will be able to have an impact on one of the most pressing problems in global medicine. Mon/Wed 6-8:30 pm Hannah Gavin
  • HIST 05 History of Consumption
    The socio-political history of the use made of goods, food, and energy by different groups through an analysis of class, race, and gender. The course examines economic factors through social and cultural history in order to understand consumption within a global economy. Analysis of social structures in the Americas, China, Europe, India, and the Ottoman Empire, from the seventeenth century to the present day. Mon/Wed 3-4:15 pm Ina Baghdiantz-McCabe
  • PSY 25 Physiological Psychology
    The biological basis of behavior. Basic functioning of the nervous system; physiological basis of hunger, thirst, sex, aggression, sleep, sensory and motor systems, learning and memory. Lectures and demonstrations. Students cannot receive credit for both PSY 25 and PSY 103. Biopsychology majors, who completed PSY 25 before declaring the major, should speak with an advisor about substituting PSY 104 for the PSY 103 major requirement. Tues 6:30 – 9:00 pm, Carolyn Knoepfler
  • UEP 285/DLS 214 Food Justice
    This class offers students different lenses, such as critical race theory to see how the intersectionality of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability and citizenship play out in the development of systemic structural and socio-spatial inequities and injustices in food systems. It develops an understanding and contextualization of the role of food justice activism within the broader narrative of the alternative food movement and offers emerging ideas about how policymakers and planners can take a role in increasing food justice beyond the more mainstream and ultimately contested notions of what is ‘local’ and ‘sustainable.’ The course will help participants chart their role(s) in advocating for ‘just sustainability’ as a defining factor in becoming food systems planners and policymakers. (Generally accepts only graduate students; the undergraduate “Food Justice” course is ANTH 140 and is taught in the spring in odd-numbered years). Tues 1:30-4 pm, Julian Agyeman

At the Friedman School for Nutrition Science and Policy

  • NUTR 203 Fundamentals of Nutrition Policy and Programming: How Science and Practice Interact
    This is a course that will allow students at the Friedman School to become familiar with policy processes (domestic and international), typologies of policy initiatives (laws, regulations, program interventions, legal restrictions and systems, institutional mandates), and to be able to critically analyze and discuss how policy and science interact with regard to food and nutrition. The class will cover: a) how science influences the policy agenda, and how policy debates influence the scientific agenda; b) the scientific underpinnings of food and nutrition policies; c) how empirical findings in scientific research and operational programming make their way into policy and law; d) debates and controversies in US and international nutrition; e) the range of options for intervention that exist (to improve nutrition), and those that are used; f) how do we know what works best and what the alternatives might be?; g) approaches to problem assessment and measurement; h) success stories in the nutrition pantheon; i) constraints to success (what makes or breaks major program successes), and j) key institutions and organizations involved in nutrition policy and programming in the U.S. and around the world. Thurs 1:30-4:30 pm, Eileen Kennedy
  • NUTR 215 Fundamentals of US Agriculture
    This course covers the major social, institutional and human aspects of the American agricultural system, both as it exists today as well as its historical development. After consideration of agricultural systems in general and of the values that underlie different concepts of agriculture, it covers some of the key historical forces that have made American agriculture what it is today, and the major role of the federal government, both past and present. The next part of the course deals with the economics of American agriculture as a whole and its large-scale structure, followed by an analysis of farming on the microlevel, emphasizing types of farms and farm-scale production economics. Recommendation: graduate standing or instructor consent. Wed 9 am – 12 pm, Nicole Tichenor Blackstone
  • NUTR 227 International Nutrition Programs
    This intensive course provides presentations, readings, and exercises relating to the broad range of nutrition interventions utilized in international programs: growth monitoring and promotion, nutrition counseling and IEC, supplementary feedings and food-based income transfers, household food security and agricultural-based interventions, micronutrient activities, and breast-feeding. The course also covers malnutrition causality, nutrition and structural adjustment, social funds, economic and food aid, active learning capacity and the nutrition transition. Finally students become well versed in program design and appraisal techniques including dynamic models and program constraint assessments, and are responsible for major exercises relating to existing programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Wed 3:15-6:15 pm, Erin Boyd
  • NUTR 0497.03D Global Alternative Food Networks– see ENV 0195-03, above
  • Undergraduates may be able to register for other Friedman School courses with permission of the instructor. If you’re not sure whether a course will count toward the Food Systems & Nutrition minor or the food track of the ENVS major, email cathy.stanton@tufts.edu.