Food and Society in the American City
Course Description: Culinary cultural practices are intricate to the ways in which urban spaces are experienced in everyday life. This course explores the myriad ways food practices transform American cities. The course investigates personal preferences of food that in turn shape social, cultural, and spatial boundaries. Through the conceptual framework of “taste," we will analyze how culinary preferences and practices of different social groups influence urban space. For instance, immigrant cooking and eating practices help define ethnic enclaves. And gourmet food trucks for the middle-class can become tropes for spurring gentrification. Throughout the course students will analyze urban spaces in American cities through aspects of ethnicity, race, and class, (i.e. street food practices to opulent restaurant dining). We will scrutinize culinary practices through critical geographic frameworks. Topics to be considered are: the politics of immigrant street food, the racial coding of farmers markets, food deserts, urban agriculture, and gastronomic gentrification.