Sunday, November 8, 2009

Food and Literature Course

The course description has been approved -- all I have to do now is finalize my book list! Next semester I will be teaching five sections of English 102 (Composition and Literature II -- basically an intro. to lit. class avec research and more substantial academic writing), and one of them will be devoted to food. It's called "Food and Ethics," and will cover a range of topics from identity and the cultural narratives attached to food, to current concerns about agriculture, sustainability, obesity and whatnot, to cannibalism ("A Modest Proposal" is a fantastic use of an eating metaphor for the purpose of raising consciousness about a socio-political issue. ).
But, I kinda haven't really read everything I'm thinking about teaching, and I'm starting to panic a little because I need to order books SOON. Here's a list of everything I'm considering. Please, if you have read any of the following, leave me your suggestions, comments and ideas:

* Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast

* Julia Child's My Life in France

* Upton Sinclair's The Jungle
* Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate

* Joanne Harris's Chocolat
* Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma

* Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation

* Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal"


Fresh Local and Best said...

I'm glad to see these books! I've read Julia Child's book, which offers a great perspective on the contrast between American-French culture. I don't know how much this book will add to the conversation of food ethics.

Omnivore's Dilemma and Fast Food Nation is compelling, and gives incredible insight to the food industry and how it came to be. Each would bring up a plethora of food ethic topics and lots of conversation!

I'm so glad to see you note these books, and I'm impressed that you are teaching classes related to food ethics.



Well, yeah, I had to keep the course title rather brief, so I just chose "Food and Ethics" and figured that I'd take some liberty with the content if need be.
I want to address issues of identity and culture as well as the farming and production issues addressed in TOD and FFN. That's why Child's book, along with Hemingway's and Esquivel's, is on the list of potentials.
I've just started My Life in France (yeah, I'm really behind on this!) and I'm really enjoying it.

Happy To Ride said...

I have never read "A Moveable Feast" and I think that will change. I enjoyed the other Hemingways I've read even though I've been told this one is different from the rest. And, you know, there is the food...

Simply Life said...

Wow that sounds like the best course ever! =)