Narratives Across Cultures: Food and Literature
Are we what we eat? What about when, where, and with whom? After beginning with foundational descriptions of food in literature, this course will move through a range of contemporary texts from around the world in a variety of forms and genres. We will explore the ways food is linked with memory and identity and analyze how the experience of eating is translated into written work. In addition to literary and film sources, we will use theoretical readings by scholars from a range of disciplines to contextualize our study of food as a literary object. Sources will include novels (Margaret Atwood's The Edible Woman, Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate, Han Kang's The Vegetarian), cookbooks and memoirs (Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor's Vibration Cooking, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's Jerusalem), and films (Babette's Feast, The Lunchbox, Tampopo). Students will complete a group cooking project and presentation, short close reading exercises, a mid-term paper, and a final paper.