Summer 2023 - HIST 485 D100

Studies in History I (4)

Food in Global Perspective

Class Number: 3248

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 8 – Aug 4, 2023: Tue, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history.



Special topics.


Global Food Histories

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, including global and diasporic movements. After being introduced to foundational literature, students will pursue the food topic of their choice, shared through student-led article presentations, discussions, and final project presentations.  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 include: innovations in food production; hunters and herders; religion, trade and mobility; globalizations and the Atlantic trade era; gendered relationships with food; colonial-era food economies; feeding the city; and the modern politics of food, including food in the news. Students will be assessed on participation (in meetings and/or online posts), finding and presenting a scholarly article, and pursuing their research topic through a final project (paper, or alternate project) scaffolded across the book review, proposal, and draft feedback stages such as peer-editing. This class is delivered in-person, and attendance and in-class activities will be graded; 1-2 absences during the term are acceptable (alert instructor for absence due to illness), and there will be no class June 27th. We will be consuming food as part of class, and all food preferences are accommodated.



  • Participation 20%
  • Book Review 15%
  • Presentation and leading of class discussion 20%
  • Research Project (including proposal, draft) 45%


Grading and Assignments (up to 5% flexible distribution): as above.



Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


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