Re-Envisioning Food Systems

Fall 2018:
Tuesday & Thursday, 1:30pm – 2:45pm, Ross Blakely Hall, Rm 171

What is food?


How is food a system?


Why do you eat what you eat??


How much choice of food do you have? 


What do food systems challenges have to do with culture? with values? 


This course reflects on challenges in the current food system, both locally and globally, and seek solutions to them.

Challenges include nutritional deficits, unjust labor practices, the overuse of natural resources, and threats to the earth’s biodiversity. Faculty and students will work together in teams to research and analyze today’s food system from interdisciplinary perspectives, with an emphasis on the humanities, which encourage reflection about the history of food production,

the meaning of food in people’s lives, the values embedded in food choices, and other relationships between food and the environment, human identities, traditions, and cultures. This Lab course will culminate in the development of new ideas and solutions to the food system’s problems. Those ideas and solutions will be shared with the public at the end of the semester.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and analyze the elements of a food system
  • Analyze different contemporary food systems both in the U.S. and internationally
  • Describe and compare the histories of contemporary food systems
  • Analyze the values underlying different food systems
  • Identify foundational questions in the humanistic study of food
  • Learn collaborative research skills in the creation of a video or visual essay
  • Learn to integrate visual and textual sources in research
  • Design a possible solution to the challenge facing the local food system by cooperating with at least one community group outside of the university.

Enrollment Information

Fall 2018: Tuesday and Thursday, 1:30pm-2:45pm

 Ross Blakely Hall, Room 171, Session C

Humanities Lab Philosophy
HUL 494 and 598 PHI 494
School of Sustainability* School of International Letters and Cultures
SOS 494 SLC 494

This course can also count for the School of Sustainability’s capstone requirement. Let your advisor know if you are interested. *SOS prerequisites can be waived. Talk to your advisor today!


Instructional Team

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Faculty: Christy Spackman

Food Policy
School for the Future of Innovation in Society

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Faculty: Grisha Coleman

Performance and Experiential Media
School of Arts, Media and Engineering
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Librarian: Janice Hermer

Assistant Liaison Librarian
Humanities Division

Instructional Team