Special Topics in Gastronomy
MET ML 610
ML610 is the designation for "Special Topics in Gastronomy". The subject matter for ML610 courses changes from semester to semester, and more than one ML610 can be offered in a given semester. Course descriptions for all ML610 sections are listed below. For more information, please contact the department Graduate Student Advisor.
Spring 2014 - MET ML 610 B1 - "Famine: The Human Experience" (Karen Pepper):
Given our present circumstance of food abundance, a secure, continuous supply of food may understandably be taken for granted. Indeed, if along with liberty and the pursuit of happiness we also have the right to life, then we necessarily have the right to an adequate supply of food. And yet starvation has been-- and is-- the lot of many. Famine usually refers to starvation en masse, and the starving of multitudes will be the central topic of this course. This class will study the mid-19th century potato famine in Ireland and the mid-20th century famine in China. Students will also explore famine on a more personal scale, by reading two short memoirs, one about wartime Bosnia and one about North Korea, and by looking into the self-imposed fasting of religious devotion and political statement.
Spring 2014 - MET ML610 C1 - "The Microbiology of Food" (Benjamin Wolfe):
Milk into cheese, grapes into wine, barley into beer, soybeans into miso: all of these food transformations rely on bacteria and fungi to turn basic ingredients into complex and flavorful foods. Through the lenses of history, microbiology, and sensory analysis, students will learn how microbes play critical roles in the production, processing, and consumption of foods. While much of the course will focus on beneficial microbes including those involved in fermentation, we will also examine the historical and contemporary impacts of pathogenic microbes on food systems. Through a series of virtual conversations with farmers, chefs, and food producers as well as in class demonstrations, students will learn practical applications of managing food microbes.
Fall 2013-- The Remembrance of Things Tasted: Reading and Writing the Food Memoir. Food in its substantial state rests but an instant on the tongue; in memory it remains for years, hidden until tapped by the taste of something similar or the same. Memories of meals or dishes serve writers as a portal into their past or an armature over which other memories may be draped. Food memoir constitutes a literary genre worthy of our attention. Students have a chance to savor its pleasures as we discuss work by M.F.K. Fisher, A.J. Leibling, Angelo Pellegrini, Ruth Reichl, Sara Suleri, and others. Both memoir and analytical papers will be assigned.
FALL 2013 Schedule
|A1||Pepper||CAS 201||M 6:00 pm-9:00 pm|
SPRG 2014 Schedule
|B1||Pepper||FLR 121||T 6:00 pm-9:00 pm||Special Topic:
SPRG 2014 Schedule
|C1||Wolfe||FLR 121||W 6:00 pm-9:00 pm||Special Topic:
Note: this course is also offered during Summer Term