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UC 254 is an interdisciplinary course about food designed for second-year students at the University of Michigan. It aims to introduce students to some of the major issues and debates in the growing field of Food Studies, including sustainability, nutrition, food history, marketing, and the role of food in culture and identity. The course also serves as a survey of the disciplines and approaches that make up the Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Food is a great subject for exploring the liberal arts and sciences because it affects our lives in so many complicated and far-reaching ways that understanding it better requires a flexible, interdisciplinary approach. Food scholars come from Anthropology, History, Geography, Media Studies, Ecology, Nutrition, Psychology, Sociology, Literature, Gender Studies and more. In this class, we examine how knowledge about food is produced across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, including what kinds of questions different fields seek to answer, what each counts as “evidence,” and the possibilities and limitations of different research methods and archives. Additionally, course readings and writing assignments are designed to develop and hone the skills of analysis, critical thinking, and speculation that serve as the foundation of scholarship across the disciplines.

For more information, please contact Margot Finn at smargot @ umich . edu.

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