Fall 2021 food-related courses

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. Fall 2021 project is still being developed but will focus on food systems in some way. Intensive but suitable for students at all levels. Monday 1:20-4:20 pm, Cathy Stanton (hybrid)
  • ANTH174 Thinking with Plants
    Explores use of plants as material resources (food, medicines, licit/illicit drugs, infrastructure) and as symbolic resources. Topics include circulation of plants; colonial cultivation, extraction, and power; place of plants in different lived environments and symbolic ecologies; plants, capitalism, and commodity chains; indigenous knowledge, tourism, and biopiracy; commercialization, criminalization and legality; multi-species approaches to living with and among botanicals. Tues 1:30-4, Tatiana Chudakova, in-person
  • BIO10/ENV10 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. Virtual/asynchronous, George Ellmore
  • BIO115 General Physiology I
    Elements of homeostasis, circulation, respiration, and excretion are discussed at various levels, from the molecular to the organ system. Recommended prereqs: BIO 13 and 14, or equivalent. Tues/Thurs 6-7:15 pm  Instructor TBD
  • ED14 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, in-person
  • ENV9 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, hybrid (Mon online, Wed in-person except for remote enrollees)
  • ENV111/HIST 102 Global Environmental History
    Exploration on a global scale of how physical environments have shaped human history and how humans have thought about and reshaped their natural surroundings. Particular focus on climate, food systems, energy use, sustainability, urbanization, politics, and social and economic structures. NOTE: This class needs to be petitioned in order to count for the food minor or food track; students will need to construct a final project for the course that is food-centered, and then submit a petition form explaining this focus. Wed 1:30-4, Christopher Conz, hybrid
  • ENV182/BIO185 Food for All: Ecology, Technology, 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, Sara Gomez Garcia, in-person (possibly virtual)
  • ENV196/NUTR497 Political Agroecology
    This course will examine the political and movement dimensions of agroecology as they relate to sustainable food systems transformation. With an emphasis on agrarian social movements advocating for food sovereignty, students will explore issues related to governance, power, and collective action across multiple scales. Drawing from international and regional perspectives on agroecology, additional dimensions of the course will focus on participatory-action research and critical pedagogies that advance food systems transformation. Mon 9 am-12 pm, Kevin Cody, virtual
  • EXP06 Medicinal Plants
    How can we discern medicinal plant facts from fiction while also honoring the human foundations of drug discovery? This survey course will facilitate the discovery of essential connections between the anthropological foundations and scientific principles underlying plant-derived drugs by looking at representative individual species. Knowledge will be built for the non-expert atop four essential pillars of anthropology, botany, chemistry, and pharmacology. Through guest speakers and student-led presentations, virtual plant walks and simple guided experiments, students will be introduced to the broad fields of ethnobotany, phytochemistry, and plant biotechnology. Wed 6:30-9, John de la Parra and Ernest Anemone, virtual
  • PSY25 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. NOTE: Students cannot receive credit for both PSY 25 and PSY 103. Mon 6:30-9, Carolyn Knoepfler, in-person
  • PSY103 Brain and Behavior
    Advanced course on the relation between behavior and the structure and function of the nervous system. Lectures and demonstrations. NOTE: Students cannot receive credit for both PSY 25 and PSY 103. Tues/Thurs 12-1:15, Klaus Miczek, in-person
  • UEP-0285 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. NOTE: This class generally accepts only graduate students. Tues 3-5:30, Julian Agyeman, virtual

At the Friedman School for Nutrition Science and Policy

NOTE: These courses require the instructor’s consent for undergraduates to enroll. Undergrads 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.

  • NUTR202 Principles of Nutrition Science
      This course presents the fundamental scientific principles of human nutrition. Students will become familiar with food sources; recommended intake levels;  biochemical role; mode of absorption, transport, excretion; deficiency/toxicity symptoms, and potential major public health problems for each macro- and micronutrient. The student goals for this course are: 1) to describe the components of a healthy diet, 2) understand the major nutrition problems that affect individuals and populations from conception and throughout the life cycle, and 3) understand the scientific basis for nutritional recommendations brought before the scientific and lay communities. Tues, Fri 1:30-3, Diane L. McKay, format TBD (will be asynchronous if held online) NOTE: This class is also offered online/asynchronously in Summer 2021.
  • NUTR203 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, Patrick Webb  NOTE: Course discussions, activities, etc., will be conducted synchronously (check course syllabus for specific dates) and recorded via Zoom. Lectures will be conducted asynchronously and available via Canvas.
  • NUTR215 Fundamentals of US Agriculture
    This course covers the major social, political, and economic aspects of the U.S. agricultural system, both as it exists today as well as its historical development. After consideration of agricultural systems in general, we explore some of the key historical forces that have made U.S. agriculture what it is today and the major role of the federal government, both past and present. This includes an explicit focus on policy, power, and the role that systems of oppression (e.g., slavery and racism, genocide of Indigenous peoples) have played and continue to play in determining who farms, who labors, and who has access to agricultural resources. The final portion of the course focuses on the people who grow and harvest our food, the communities in which they live and work, and the development of alternative food systems (i.e., local and regional) as potential mechanisms to transform relationships between agriculture and society. Wed 9-12, Nicole Tichenor Blackstone
  • Also see ENV196/NUTR497 Political Agroecology above – some seats are reserved for undergrads in this Friedman School course.