Graduate Minor in Food Studies

Maria Harvey, anthropology graduate student, learning to prepare Purhépecha cuisine in the community of San Lorenzo, Michoacán.

Maria Harvey, anthropology graduate student, learning to prepare Purhépecha cuisine in the community of San Lorenzo, Michoacán.

The graduate minor in food studies enables graduate students in anthropology or other programs to develop a specialization in food studies within their graduate program. The food studies specialization comprises an interdisciplinary field that cuts across the arts, humanities, and sciences.

Because food production, distribution, and consumption lie at the core of human existence, anthropologists have focused on the complex, dynamic, and integral relationship between food and culture. Food sustains us biologically; as well it gives meaning, order, and values to our lives. Food also plays important roles in our identity construction, religious practices, and socialization.

At the same time, agricultural changes, development, migration, globalization, technological changes, and advertising, among a number of other factors, now transform the way that we produce, distribute, prepare, and consume the food that we eat.

Within this minor, students will have the opportunity to explore and develop specialized knowledge about food and culture through graduate training. Students will be expected to use the ideas, insights, and knowledge gained through graduate seminars in their fieldwork for the M.A. thesis or internship in a food studies topic approved by their M.A. committee.

Course Requirements

Aaron Sharratt, anthropology graduate student, grinding masa in the community of San Lorenzo, Michoacán.

In order to complete the minor requirements, students are required to complete 9 credit hours (3 classes) of graduate level courses. The core courses for the minor are

  • ANTH 520 Ethnographic Field Models
  • ANTH 531 Issues in Nutritional Anthropology
  • ANTH 536 Anthropology of Development
  • ANTH 538 Plants, Culture, and Sustainable Development
  • ANTH 539 Culture and Foodways

Alternative classes are identified below the core offerings; these maybe substituted with the approval of the student’s M.A. thesis chair.