Fall 2022 - HIST 425W D100

Gender and History (4)

Class Number: 4019

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 8:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 5020, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history.



Explores historical changes in masculinity and femininity. Using a thematic and transnational/comparative approach, it will examine how gender identities are formed and refashioned within different historical contexts. It will also explore the interaction between gender and other systems of power such as race, class, and ethnicity. Students with credit for HIST 425 may not take this course for further credit. Writing.


Gender and Food: A Global History

What we eat, where, when, how, and with whom are questions that deeply implicate our social identities in all dimensions, including nationality, religion, race, ethnicity, class, and gender. To explore such connections over time is a central aim of Food History, currently one of the most innovative and exciting fields of interdisciplinary historical research. Students in HIST 425W will engage with this field to advance their understandings of gender as a category of historical analysis for Europe and the colonial and postcolonial worlds during the era of globalization, roughly 1500 CE to the present.

Food historians have taught us to think about the origins and resonance of familiar attitudes such as the feminine and masculine connotations of salads and greasy hamburgers, respectively, or the masculine stereotype of the celebrity chef. The latter derives from an old pattern of binary thinking: where public “skilled” labour is coded as male and domestic “unskilled” labour as female. Even as they’ve shown how this gendered division of culinary labour evolved, however, food historians have emphasized its diverse and contested manifestations, and the high degrees of responsibility and authority that women could wield in early modern societies where their “domestic” sphere encompassed essential activities such as brewing, baking, dairying, gardening, and preserving. The early modern kitchen was a site of intellectual as well as manual labour, where knowledge was transmitted across generations and where the global exchange of ideas and commodities was given material, and nourishing, form.

Students will read a series of research publications reflecting gender studies viewpoints on the four fundamental topics to do with food: production, distribution, preparation, and consumption; plus a fifth topic, encompassing a crucial body of historical evidence: representation (i.e. the depiction of food in art and literature). Emphasis will be placed on the geographic “contact zones” of colonization, where foodways have marked key sites of adaption, hybridization, and resistance. For their research projects, students will apply the methods they’ve studied to sources of their own choosing, in order to enrich, by their original contributions, the expanding historiography of gender and food.


  • Tutorial participation 10%
  • Reading quizzes 15%
  • In-class writing exercises 15%
  • Midterm exam 20%
  • Research proposal 10%
  • Research paper 30%



All readings and media sources will be provided for free on Canvas.

Registrar Notes:


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