English R1A

Reading and Composition: Culture and Politics of Food and Eating

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
7 Spring 2007 Peter Goodwin
TTh 11:00 ? 12:30 215 Dwinelle

Other Readings and Media

"Mary Rowlandson, A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration...

Jan Martel, The Life of Pi

Diana Hacker, A Writer?s Reference

A course reader including selections from the following:

* Michel de Montaigne, ?Of Cannibals?

* Jonathan Swift, ?A Modest Proposal?

* Claude L?vi Strauss, The Raw and the Cooked

* Mary Douglass, Purity and Danger

* Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation

* Michael Pollan, The Omnivore?s Dilemma



"What we eat and how we eat it says a lot about our culture?our history, our politics, our religious beliefs, and our ways of relating to each other. Why are some foods distasteful, or even taboo? How can choosing what to have for lunch be a political statement? How does our food get to our tables? These are just some of the questions we will attempt to answer in this course. Two longer literary pieces?a colonial American woman?s account of her capture by native Americans, and a recent Canadian novel?will help us begin thinking about some of the symbolic significance of food and eating; but the majority of our reading will be in the form of shorter, nonfiction essays on topics ranging from cannibalism to fast food.

The primary aim of the course is to develop students? expertise in writing persuasively, clearly, and precisely. With this in mind, the readings are designed to help students form their own arguments about the cultural significance of food and eating. Students will learn effective strategies for constructing strong sentences and paragraphs, developing thesis statements, designing logical arguments, and expressing themselves with energy and style. In addition to essays of literary analysis, students will write argumentative, personal, and expository essays, developing skills that will apply to all types of college and professional writing. "

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