Tutor: Professor Rebecca Earle
Eating is a deeply human activity. Language, and the human species itself, perhaps developed out of our desire to cook and share food. Yet the way we eat now may be destroying important aspects of human society and the environment itself. How did we get into this mess? This 30 CATS undergraduate second-year option module explores the long history of the production, marketing and consumption of food, from ancient times to the present, from vegetarianism to the first battery chicken. It provides a framework for thinking about the place of food and eating within historical analysis. The module considers food from multiple overlapping perspectives - ethics, labour, environment, community, power, health, hunger and science - to help contextualise our current attitudes to food, and to introduce important historical concepts (from 'moral economies' to 'biopolitics') relevant to all areas of historical analysis.
This module fulfils the History Department's year two 'early modern' requirement.
Here is a recording of the module fair presentation.
And here, just to whet your imagination, is a video from 1975 of Martha Rosler's performance of 'Semiotics in the Kitchen'. What is she saying about women, cooking and sexism?