Edible Activism

edible activism

This interdisciplinary and hands-on FIG combines a historical interest in food and culture with an analysis of contemporary social justice issues-particularly in relation to issues of labor, health, and racial and economic inequalities. Designed with the understanding that everything we do - including everything we eat - is impacted by and reflective of power structures, social hierarchies, and political institutions, this FIG uses food as a lens to examine power and possibility in the human experience. By exploring questions such as "What role can food play in transforming society?" and "Why does our relationship with food matter?" How do immigration and labor policies impact the workers who produce our food? What is the impact of food cultivation and harvesting on the environment? How did the industrialization of food systems change people's relationships and insect with different forms of inequality? Edible Activism will encourage students to reflect on their own intersectional identities and the ways in which power and politics affect our everyday lives in a multitude of ways, visible in our relationships with food and food culture. Moreover, through direct engagement with community organizations and innovative work being done around the world and right here in Oregon it will also explore narratives of agency and resilience and reflect on how food is a potent avenue for social change.

Deep-Dive FIG: Please note this FIG contains an intermediate course at the 300-level. This course has been vetted by First Year Programs to ensure first-term students can achieve success. The instructor will be available to assist students along the way.


Students explore the intersection of topics by taking the following course package*:

*Courses in the FIG package may be subject to change

ANTH 199 College Connections - FIG Seminar, 1-credit

ANTH 329 Immigration and Farmworkers - CoreEd or major satisfying course, 4-credits

Focus on western racial and immigration history and U.S.-Mexico relations as a window on understanding issues of Mexican and Central America immigration, differences among immigrants, current and historical immigration policy and debates, and farmworker movements and cultures.

ENVS 225 Introduction to Food Studies - CoreEd or major satisfying course, 4-credits

This course provides an introduction to the emerging interdisciplinary "field" of food studies and an introduction to the place of food in society. Using a comparative global perspective, we will explore the complex ways in which our foodways have emerged and explore the roles food plays at present. We will examine large-scale patterns and as well as the more intimate ways we engage or experience food in our daily lives. We will address key questions such as: Why use food as lens on society? How did the food system we have today develop? With what effects on the environment and our health? How does food help create meaning and identity for people in different cultural contexts? Why do some people (continue to) struggle to get enough food, while others eat so much that it makes them sick? What does the future hold for our engagement with food? What roles can or should we play in the food realm going forward?