Courses

  • MET ML 631: Culture and Cuisine: France
    The association between France and fine cuisine seems so "natural." French society and history are intertwined with the culinary, and have been since the court society of the Old Regime. After the French Revolution, French cuisine became a truly modern affair in the public sphere. The invention of the restaurant, the practice of gastronomy, a literature of food, and strong links between French cuisine and national identity all came together in the 19th century. In the 19th and 20th centuries, French food, featuring both haute cuisine and regional culinary specialties, was widely considered the world?s best. In the 20th century, the culinary allure of France continued to fascinate people all over the world. It is still said today, enviously, that the French really know how to appreciate good food and wine "la bonne chère" in their daily lives. This course looks at how the history of French culinary culture evolved in the particular way that it did. The course is organized largely chronologically, but not entirely, as some of the readings weave issues of different times periods thematically. In studying culture and cuisine, with France as a great example, we will explore the relationship between a place, a people, and their foodways. We launch our investigation with the question: how and why is this relationship distinctive in France?
  • MET ML 632: History of Wine
    Understanding wine is impossible without knowing its rich and varied history. This course provides a survey of significant developments in the production, distribution, consumption and cultural uses of grape-based alcoholic beverages in the West. Topics include the role wine has played in the economy and culture of civilizations from the ancient Near East all the way through to its global impact in the 21st Century. We will focus in particular on wine as a religious symbol and a consumer beverage in the modern world.
  • MET ML 633: Readings in Food History
    A comparative perspective on issues of human subsistence through time. Changing patterns of nutrition and health, agricultural production, methods of coping with famine and organizing feasts, and origins and impact of culinary and dietary innovations.
  • MET ML 638: Culture and Cuisine: New England
    How are the foodways of New England?s inhabitants, past and present, intertwined with the history and culture of this region? In this course, students will have the opportunity to examine the cultural uses and meanings of foods and foodways in New England using historical, archaeological, oral, and material evidence. We will focus on key cultural, religious and political movements that have affected foodways in the region, as well as the movement of people.
  • MET ML 639: Culture and Cuisine: Quebec
    Moving beyond the stereotypes of poutine and maple syrup, this course will explore the rich contemporary and historical foodscapes of Quebec. The cuisine of this predominantly French-speaking area of Canada has been marked by the lasting legacies of French, British and a variety of immigrant cultures. The result is a combination of fascinating traditions and some of the most exciting new culinary trends in the Northeast--from iced cider to head-to-tail eating. This course will look at questions of identity politics, heritage preservation and the development of sustainable local food systems, as well as the everyday culture and life of this unique Canadian province. Offered in a blended format, class will meet once a month face-to-face and on-line before and after a weeklong trip to Quebec City, Montreal and surrounding rural areas. While in Quebec, students will have a chance to meet farmers, artisans and culinary professionals and engage in a number of hands-on activities.
  • MET ML 641: Anthropology of Food
    What can food tell us about human culture and social organization? Food offers us many opportunities to explore the ways in which humans go about their daily lives from breaking bread at the family table, haggling over the price of meat at the market to worrying about having enough to eat. Food can also tell us about larger social organizations and global interconnections through products like Spam that are traded around the globe and the ways in which a fruit like the tomato transformed the culinary culture of European nations. In this course we will consider how the Anthropology of Food has developed as a subfield of Cultural Anthropology. We will also look at the various methodologies and theoretical frameworks used by anthropologists to study food and culture. 4 cr.
  • MET ML 642: Food Ethnography
    This course explores what food ethnography is and how food ethnographers work. Students will learn about food ethnography by reading and discussing its methods and by practicing them. Students will write a research design for an ethnographic project on some aspect of Boston?s multifaceted alternative food system, carry out the research, analyze their data, and write up and orally present the results. Students will learn about and use the methods of participant observation, interviews, photography, food mapping, informant documentation, food logs, and others. They will learn about research ethics. They will pay particular attention to the ways that studying food culture presents unique methods and insights.
  • MET ML 643: Special Topic: Food, Culture and Exchange - The Economic Anthropology of Food
    Economic exchanges are influenced by culture. This is particularly true when it comes to exchanges that have to do with food. This course explores the cultural aspects of economics and food, serving as a lens through which to view the complex human relations and exchanges known as economics. Discussion of topics such as gift exchange, bartering and the question of the commons, as well as the economics of local food, reconnecting consumers with their food supply, urban foraging and alternate economic activities related to food production and consumption. Using an anthropological framework to understand the cultural aspects of exchange, the course will cover the economic and cultural underpinnings of food systems throughout the world. 4 credits
  • MET ML 651: Fundamentals of Wine
    For students without previous knowledge of wine, this introductory survey explores the world of wine through lectures, tastings, and assigned readings. By the end of this course, students will be able to 1). Exhibit fundamental knowledge of the principal categories of wine, including major grape varieties, wine styles, and regions; 2). Correctly taste and classify wine attributes; 3). Understand general principles of food and wine pairing; and 4). Comprehend the process of grape growing and winemaking. Open only to matriculated gastronomy students.
  • MET ML 652: A Comprehensive Survey of Wine
    Students passing this course will attain proficiency in the field of wine and associated alcoholic beverages. This intensive survey covers each of the world's most important geographical areas and includes comprehensive comparative tastings. The final examination includes a tasting as well as a written component.
  • MET ML 653: Mastering Wine: Skill Development
    Graduate Prerequisites: MET ML 652.
    Provides students with mastery of the field of alcoholic beverages. The curriculum is divided into the following sections: viticulture, vinification, distillation and brewing; wine tasting, including blind tasting; the interaction of wine and food; and the business of wine. Examination covers tasting skills, factual information and essay writing. 4 credits, Wed. 6-9. FUL Room 122.
  • MET ML 654: The Wine Trade: Global, National and Local Perspectives
    Graduate Prerequisites: MET ML 653.
    Gives students an in-depth understanding of issues confronting national wine industries and how these issues relate to the U.S. and local wine trade. Students develop understanding and professional skills by researching assigned topics, participating in teacher-led discussions, and tasting numerous wines under the guidance of instructors. Specialists in the wine trade visit to contribute their expertise and provide an interface to the trade. Students share independent research with classmates by giving presentations and researching relevant topics which highlight issues currently facing the wine industry. The format of this course requires students to do independent research, which may be presented in class and/or submitted in the form of an essay.
  • MET ML 671: Food and Visual Culture
    An extensive historical exploration into prints, drawings, film, television, and photography relating to food in the United States and elsewhere. Examines how food images represent aesthetic concerns, social habits, demographics, domestic relations, and historical trends.
  • MET ML 672: Special Topics: Art and Food
    Focusing on the dialogue between gastronomy and art, from antiquity to the present, this seminar offers students the opportunity to research the work of artists who represented food, drink, harvest and hunger, the role of the decorative arts in dining and the relationship of national traditions of art and cuisine. Students test the validity of analogies that scholars have drawn between developments in the two areas of endeavor. Uncharted areas of affinity linking art and cuisine are explored. Providing an introduction to fundamental aspects of the art historical periods in question, the course is designed to accommodate students without previous formal study of art history. Those with prior experience in the discipline will be given new purchase on the art.
  • MET ML 673: A Survey of Food in Film
    We can all take pleasure in eating good food, but what about watching other people eat or cook food? This course will survey the history of food in film. It will pay particular attention to how food and foodways are depicted as expressions of culture, politics, and group or personal identity. We will watch a significant number of films, both fiction and non-fiction, classic and modern. A good portion of class time will also be given to discussing the readings in combination with hands-on, in-depth analysis of the films themselves.
  • MET ML 681: Food Writing for the Media
    Students will develop and improve food-writing skills through the study of journalistic ethics; advertising; scientific and technological matters; recipe writing; food criticism; anthropological and historical writing about food; food in fiction, magazines and newspapers. 4 cr
  • MET ML 691: Nutrition and Diet: Why What You Eat Matters
    This course is designed to introduce major concepts in nutrition and diet to students of food studies and other disciplines who have limited or no background in the biological sciences. The overarching goal is to develop a working understanding of the basic science of nutrition and apply this knowledge to personal health and professional settings. The course begins with the fundamentals of nutrition and diet, focusing on macro- and micronutrient intakes and needs throughout the life course. Food-based nutrition will also be discussed, alongside dietary guidelines, recommendations, and food labels. Moving from the individual level to the larger public health arena, we will also examine such topics as nutritional ecology, influences on dietary intakes, overnutrition, and undernutrition. A running theme throughout will be critiquing how diet and nutrition are treated in the media and press.
  • MET ML 692: Evaluating and Developing Markets for Cultural Tourism
    Cultural tourism in the 21st century is more than the traditional passive activities of visiting a museum, hearing a concert or strolling down an historic street. It has become an active, dynamic branch of tourism in which half of all tourists have stated that they want some cultural activities during their vacation. In this course we will introduce various themes of cultural tourism including the relationship between the Tourist Industry and the Cultural Heritage Manager, conservation and preservation vs. utilization of a cultural asset, authenticity vs. commoditization, stakeholders and what should be their rights and obligations, tangible and intangible tourist assets, the role of government, private industry and the non-profit sectors in tourism planning and sustainable economic development. We will examine these themes in different areas of cultural tourism including the art industry, historical sites, cultural landmarks, special events and festivals, theme parks and gastronomy.
  • MET ML 698: Laboratory in the Culinary Arts: Cooking
    Exposes students to a craft-based understanding of the culinary arts from which to better understand how food and cuisine fit into the liberal arts and other disciplines and cultures. The course integrates personal experience and theory through discipline by training students in the classic and modern techniques and theories of food production, through cooking and working efficiently, effectively, and safely, and by introducing students to foods of various cultures and cuisines from around the world. Open only to matriculated gastronomy students. Cannot be taken in addition to ML 700. 4 cr
  • MET ML 699: Laboratory in the Culinary Arts: Baking
    Exposes students to a craft-based understanding of the culinary arts from which to better understand how food and cuisine fit into the liberal arts and other disciplines and cultures. The course integrates personal experience and theory through discipline by training students in the classic and modern techniques and theories of food production, through pastry and baking methods as well as working efficiently, effectively, and safely, and by introducing students to baking techniques from various cultures and cuisines from around the world. Open only to matriculated gastronomy students. Cannot be taken in addition to ML 700.