Spring 2019 food-related classes

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

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

    • Food Justice (ANTH140/AMER194-05, ENV146, UEP50)
      Food justice as a concept and practice, both historically and in the present. Migration and farmworker organizing; health and inequitable food distribution; finance capitalism, farm lending, and institutional racism; plantations and the under-acknowledged contributions of dispossessed peoples to agricultural development and food culture; cultural appropriation; indigenous land theft and reclamation; food sovereignty and political autonomy; agri-chemicals, toxicity, and environmental violence; and the politics of cheap food. The idea of “justice” is an open question in this class — not a pre-defined ideal: what it means to apply varied and culturally-specific notions of justice to non-human subjects such as landscapes, seeds, and animals. Readings drawn from anthropology and human geography center on the United States and Mexico. Mon/Wed 9-10:15 am, Alex Blanchette
    • Microbiology (BIO106)
      A survey of the structures and functions of microbes, including bacteria, archaea, viruses, and eukaryotic microbes (fungi, protists). Topics include microbial genetics, physiology, cell biology, diversity, evolution, ecology, and the human microbiome. Laboratory work focuses on fundamental techniques used to isolate, identify, and manipulate microbes. Mon/Wed 1:30-2:45 + labs, Ben Wolfe
    • Food for All: Ecology, Biotechnology Sustainability (BIO185/ENV182)
      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). Mon 1:30-4:15 pm, Colin Orians/Sara Gomez
    • Edible Insects (BIO196)
      This seminar course will explore the potential benefits of using insects as food from multiple perspectives, considering cultural, nutritional, and sustainability issues. Format will be presentation/discussion based on reading of primary literature. Wed 1:30-4:15 pm, Sara Lewis
    • Practicing in Food Systems (ENV190/ANTH159)
      Project-based course designed to integrate academic learning with application in a range of food systems settings. Focused observation exercise culminating in a jointly produced useable report for a community partner. Emphasis will be on balance between process and product. Readings, discussion, and field research will be split between the specific content focus of the group project and general issues arising from planning and carrying out interdisciplinary team projects; developing productive relationships with communities, clients, and stakeholders; addressing ethical concerns in collaborative and public research. Preference will be given to students who have declared the Food Systems and Nutrition minor or the Food Systems, Nutrition and Environment major. Wed 1:30-4 pm, Cathy Stanton
    • Food as Sculpture (ENV128 – see VISC128 listing under SMFA below)
    • Human Nutrition (NU101)
      To provide an understanding of basic nutrition science to non-science majors and students with a limited scientific background. Students will become familiar with: the principles of diet planning, government standards, and food labeling; the biological functions and food sources of each nutrient; energy balance, weight management, and physical activity; the role of nutrition in chronic disease development; nutrition throughout the life cycle; food safety issues; and current nutrition-related controversies. This course meets the science requirement for undergraduate non-science majors. It is not acceptable for biology credit for biology majors. Fri 1:30-4:30 pm, Diane McKay
    • Food Ethics (PHIL25)
      A philosophical examination of ethical questions that arise in the production, distribution, and consumption of food: obligations to victims of famine; obligation to future generations; just access to food; food and environmental ethics; animal rights. Mon/Wed 3-4:15 pm, Sigrun Svavarsdottir
    • Brain and Behavior (PSY103)
      Advanced course on the relation between behavior and the structure and function of the nervous system. 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. Pre-Req: BIO 13 and 14; Recommendations: Biopsychology major,CHEM 1; cannot receive credit for 103 if 25 has already been taken. Tues/Thurs 3-4:15 pm, Herbert Evans Covington III

At the Friedman School for Nutrition Science and Policy

  • Economics for Food and Nutrition Policy (NUTR238)
    This course equips students with the economic principles used for food policy analysis, applying the methods of economics to the major food and nutrition policy problems of the United States and the world. Students will gain familiarity with the data sources and analytical methods needed to explain and predict consumption, production and trade in agriculture and food markets; evaluate the social welfare consequences of market failure and government policies; and analyze changes in poverty and inequality including both fluctuations and trends in incomes, employment and economic development. Requires instructor’s permission for undergraduates. Tues/Thurs 4:15-5:45 pm, William A. Masters
  • Nutritional Assessment (NUTR313)
    This course will provide an overview of the common nutritional and food security assessment tools. Laboratory and field methods for population wide nutritional deficiency assessment, nutritional screening and surveillance, dietary assessment, hunger and food security as well as diet diversity and food group indices will be examined. Clinical methods including body composition, biochemical and clinical factors related to macro and micronutrient deficiency will be discussed. Using practical training and demonstrations students will learn how to select and apply these methods in program-based or research-based settings. Issues of validity and reliability of these methods will be addressed mainly in the context of strengths and limitations of each method. At the end of the course, students should have some familiarity with the common nutritional assessment techniques as well as their practical applications at the individual and population wide levels. Meets second half of the semester. Requires instructor’s permission for undergraduates. Wed 9 am-noon, Sai Das

At the School of the Museum of Fine Arts:

  • Food: The Social and Functional Politics of the Table (CER-0191)
    Where do food and politics intersect? What is culture and who is it made for? These questions will be the catalyst for the research and creation of functional and non-functional objects for the table. In this course, students will explore the cultural connections of food and community as well as explore the history of service ware, place settings, cutlery, table vessels and the rituals they were created for. This course will be held in both the Metal and Ceramic Labs. Wed (full day), Michael Barsanti and Tanya Crane
  • Food as Sculpture (VISC128/ENV128)
    An unprecedented attention has been paid to Food as a form of art in the past few years. This seminar explores recent curatorial, theoretical and historical contributions on this topic. We will look at food as a subject for Pop sculpture; the incorporation of food in New Realists ready mades; food as edible material for three dimensional work; ingestion, food and the body in sculptural and performative pieces; feminist installation art and references to the kitchen; artist restaurants, food and counterculture; food decay in sculptural works, as a signifier of time or trigger of disgust; gardening and farming as social sculpture; and relational projects using cooking and dining as tools for community building. The readings assigned will address theoretical aspects, such as the aesthetic and phenomenological experience of taste; memory and everyday foods; identity politics; and relational aesthetics. The list of artists discussed includes: Claes Oldenburg; Carolee Schneemann; Hannah Wilke; Janine Antoni; Robin Weltsch and Vicki Hodgetts; Gordon Matta Clark; Allen Ruppersberg; Paul McCarthy; Joseph Beuys; Rirkrit Tiravanija; Andi Sutton; and Michael Rakovitz. Fri 10:30 am-1:30 pm, Silvia Bottinelli

At the Tufts Sensory and Science Center:

  • Check out upcoming food- (and beer-)related courses here.

Also of potential interest to Tufts graduate students:

  • Gender and Food (WGS.700 Spring 2019) taught at the MIT campus as part of the Graduate Consortium of Women’s Studies. Tuesdays 4 – 7pm, January 29 – May 10, 2019 – More details can be found here or by emailing Prof. Freeden Oeur in the Tufts Sociology Department.