Fall 2018 - HIST 485 D100

Studies in History I (4)

Food in Global Perspective

Class Number: 7465

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    HCC 1505, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history.



Special topics.


Food and Culture in Global Historical Perspective

Food is a culturally constructed and historically grounded concept. Food production and consumption patterns are potent barometers, and even drivers, of historical and cultural change. In this class, we will examine how historians can use food studies and sources to enrich our knowledge of peoples and patterns in the past. After being introduced to foundational literature, students will pursue the food historical topic of their choice, through reading, writing and food sharing.  The ultimate goal is to bring everyone’s contributions together at the end of the course to appreciate global and temporal patterns, as well as tasty idiosyncrasies.  Topics will include: innovations in food production, globalizations and the Columbian Exchange, Indigenous foodways, gendered relationships with food, colonial-era food economies, feeding the city, food and religion, and the modern politics of food, including food in the news. This is a reading and research seminar - students will discuss and present readings among their peers, and educate one another regarding their independent research project. Students will be assessed on in-class and/or on-line participation, finding and presenting a scholarly article, and pursuing their research topic through a final paper and in-class presentation.  In addition to the texts listed below, students will read primary sources and scholarly articles posted to Canvas.


  • Participation (in-class and on Canvas) 25%
  • Book Review 15%
  • Presentation and leading of class discussion 15%
  • Research Paper (including proposal, presentation) 45%



Jeffrey Pilcher, Food in World History 2nd Ed (Routledge, 2017)

Carol Counihan and Penny Van Esterik (Eds), Food and Culture: A Reader 3rd Ed. (Routledge, 2012)


Kyri W. Claflin & Peter Scholliers Writing Food History (Berg, 2013)

John Krebs, Food: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2013)

Registrar Notes:

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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