Fall 2020 - GEOG 385 D100

Food and the City (4)

Class Number: 4103

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 9 – Dec 8, 2020: TBA, TBA

  • Instructor:

    Christiana Miewald
    Office: NA
    Office Hours: TBD
  • Prerequisites:

    At least 45 units, including GEOG 100 or REM 100.



An exploration of how food is related to cities, giving particular attention to the culture and politics of food production, distribution, and consumption.


This course will explore the ways in which food is embedded within the geography of cities through the lens of specific urban foodscapes.  Topics will include: how race, ethnicity and gender influence people’s relationships to food production and consumption, issues of food access and politics in low-income or otherwise marginalized populations; and how food policies and practices are reshaping cities.  Students will engage with these issues through academic and popular readings, videos, and guest speakers. 

This course includes a foodscape project that asks students to explore the distribution of food resources (restaurants, gardens, food banks, grocery stores) within a specific geographic region within Metro Vancouver (typically a neighborhood).  This project is typically done in groups of 2 to 4 although it can be done individually.  More details about the foodscape project and alternatives will be made available at the beginning of the course. 

Course Delivery: 

  • Lectures will be asynchronous (recorded voice over powerpoint)
  • Tutorials will be synchronous with the option to review recorded tutorial discussion at another time.
  • Synchronous office hours by instructor and TA

No tutorials the first week of class


  • • Quizzes 25%
  • • Canvas Discussion Participation 15%
  • • Book Review 25%
  • • Foodscape Project or Research Paper 35%



Only one of these will be required:

Ableman, M. (2016). Street farm: Growing food, jobs, and hope on the urban frontier. Chelsea Green Publishing. (Available to order from the Sole Food Farm Website)

Liu H. (2015) From Canton Restaurant to Panda Express: A History of Chinese Food in the United States. Rutgers University Press (available online at SFU library)

Reese, A. M. (2019). Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press (available online at SFU library)

A package of additional required readings will be made available to students electronically.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).