ANTH 361 A: Anthropology of Food

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 3:30pm - 5:40pm
DEN 259
Ann S. Anagnost

Syllabus Description:

Instructor: Ann Anagnost (

Office Hours: M, T, W, Th, 5:40-6, Denny 259

Place and Time: M, T, W, Th, 3:30-5:40 pm, Denny 259


This course is designed for each student to take an active role in discussion. Please come to class having completed the reading for that day and be prepared to discuss.


Readings (Books on order at University Bookstore and are also available as ebooks through the library portal):

  • David Sutton, A Remembrance of Repasts.
  • Judith Farquhar, Appetites.

Shorter readings can be found here.

Course schedule can be found here.

Powerpoints for the lectures can be found here.

Pictures of our kitchen activities can be found here.

Recipes and activity sheets can be found here.

Assignments and Participation:

Reading, discussion, observation, food production and preparation, and sharing food with others are experiences that you will be asked to “process” through the class assignments. There will be 10 (out of a possible 13) "discussion briefs" (short ungraded response papers due prior to class, 2 points each) and three longer graded papers (5 pages each, 25 points each). The three longer papers should be written in response to prompts set by the instructor. Please note that there are a total of 14 reading assignments, but you are only responsible for 10 discussion briefs. This is to give you some flexibility at crunch times.

The model of writing recommended for these assignments is the 19th-century genre of “the familiar essay.” This is a genre of writing that describes everyday experience in a highly personal way to comment on much broader issues. It makes liberal use of the first-person pronoun. However, these writing exercises should not be written off the top of your head, they need to demonstrate that you have done the readings and that you are developing your thinking about food through thoughtful processing of the course materials and activities. For example, you are making connections, coming up with questions, using other food cultures to reflect upon your own.

The due dates for the three formal papers are all on days for which there are no reading assignments to allow you more time to focus on writing.

The discussion briefs should be written with the goal of helping to contribute to class discussion. You could, for example, make a connection between the reading for the day with another element of the course or with your personal experience, or you could ask a question inspired by the reading or seek explanation for something that is not clear. The content of your briefs should demonstrate that you have done the readings by making specific references to the content to receive full credit.

Four of our class meetings will take place in the Husky Den Kitchen (behind the metal doors in back of the Firecrackers counter in the HUB Basement Food Court). These are integral to the course and should not be missed. The activities have been carefully designed to enhance your learning of the different food cultures we will be discussing in class. We will be preparing and sharing food on those days. Feel free to bring containers to take leftovers home with you.

Credit Structure:

10 Discussion Briefs (2 points each)       20 points

3 Five-Page Papers (25 points each)     75 points

Participation Grade                                   5 points       

Total:                                                     100 points

I expect that you will: come to class on time and prepared; stay for the entire class; participate in class discussion and exercises; and hand in your assignments on time. The work for this course depends on both reading and class material.  Regular attendance is expected for you to do well in this class.  

  • Cell phones are to be turned off and put away before class.
  • Laptops may be used to take notes in class, but not to double-task. 
  • Email: I will be happy to respond to substantive questions on email, generally during working hours M-Th.  You are responsible for keeping track of paper due dates, reading assignments, material from missed classes, and scheduling changes. 
  • Class email list: I will use the email list to communicate with you about changes in assignments, scheduling and visitor changes, and other general classroom issues.  I expect you to have a university email address at which you can be reached by messages addressed to the list. To reach me privately please use my email address rather than going through Canvas.
  • No incompletes will be given except in accord with University policy.

Plagiarism Policy
Students are expected to do their own work. Plagiarism will not be tolerated and will result in zero credit for the assignment and possible further consequences in accordance with university policy and regulations. Information obtained from Internet sources must be acknowledged by citing the url (web address) and date of access, even if individual authors are not indicated. For further information on how plagiarism is defined by the university and university policies regarding plagiarism, see the following website:

Catalog Description: 
Explores how foods reproduce social relations, the meanings food acquires within culture, how food systems are intertwined with structures of power and economic inequality, national cuisines and restaurant cultures, the global marketing of foods, controversies surrounding GMO foods, and alternative food communities. Prerequisite: one 200-level ANTH course.
Department Requirements: 
Anthropology of Globalization Option
Medical Anthropology & Global Health Option
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
February 23, 2020 - 9:10pm