Summer Session 1: Gastronomy Courses Spotlight

As the spring semester comes to a close, we know you’re already chomping at the bit for summer classes. Summer 1 kicks off May 21 and concludes June 28.

The following fabulous courses still have space:


Course Summary: Beginning with early humans up to early farmers, the course explores food used by hunter/gatherers and changes in diet and nutrition through time. Examines archaeological evidence for types of plants and animals exploited for food, as well as human skeletal evidence for ancient nutrition and diseases related to diet and food stress. Consideration of early historical periods, especially in terms of how certain foods such as wine have played a significant role in culture beyond basic dietary needs.

Bonuses: The course includes a trip to Plimoth Plantation with a self-guided tour, a visit with the curator of collections and the Plimoth food historian, and lunch with options like succotash, stuffed quahog, peas cod, salmon burgers, and Indian pudding.

Instructor: Karen Metheny
Class Meets: Tuesday/Thursday, 5:30-9:00 pm


Course Summary: Focusing on the dialogue between gastronomy and art, from antiquity to the present, this seminar offers students the opportunity to research the work of artists who represented food, drink, harvest, and hunger; the role of the decorative arts in dining; and the relationship of national traditions of art and cuisine. Providing an introduction to fundamental aspects of the art historical periods in question, the course is designed to accommodate students without previous formal study of either art history or gastronomy.

Bonuses: Course includes cooking demonstrations and visits to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Instructor: Jonathan Ribner
Class Meets: Monday/Wednesday, 5:30-9:00 pm


Summary: What is ethnicity? Is all American food also ethnic food? This course will explore the creation, exchange, and consumption of ethnic foodways in the United States. In particular, we will look at food as a cultural artifact that is intrinsically tied to individual and group identity. We will study what Americans eat, and how that food is intertwined with ideas about identity and the United States as a nation. This interdisciplinary study of food and culture will look at the evolution of ethnic food in the United States, and will cover a range of topics from immigrant adaptations of cuisines, culinary tourism and the ever popular, quest for “authentic” cuisine. The intent is to think critically about ethnic food and to draw conclusions about American behaviors, tastes, and identity.

Bonuses: Course includes a field trip, guest speakers including chefs and restaurant owners, and the opportunity to practice oral histories and analysis of primary sources, such as old cookbooks, menus, and advertisements.

Instructor: Amanda Mayo
Class Meets: Tuesday/Thursday, 5:30-9:00 pm

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