English R1A

Reading and Composition: Choice Cuts: Writing About Food

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Session Course Areas
1 Summer 2021 Stevenson, Max
TWTh 9:30 - 12:00 D


This course begins with Terry Eagleton’s assertion that “food looks like an object but is actually a relationship, and the same is true of literary works” and moves to consider that relationship in texts as varied as medieval French fabliaux and twentieth-century Japanese cinema. Authors we will study include Anthony Bourdain, M. F. K. Fisher, Monique Truong, Pu Song Ling, Petronius, and many others; the topics we’ll cover range from the ethics of vegetarianism to the politics of cannibalism, from the particular formal difficulty of representing taste in words to hunger’s connection with other carnal desires. In addition to the traditionally literary modes of prose fiction, poetry, and the personal essay, we will also read restaurant reviews, political manifestos, journalistic reportage, and cultural criticism, and will learn to read meals themselves.

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