August 01, 2014, BY Heather Johns


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Welcome to "Cool Classes," a regular feature that highlights the interesting, intriguing and unexpected in Bucknell University's course catalog.

What class? FREN 395 01: Gastronomic Discourse

Who teaches it? Professor Philippe DuboisFrench and francophone studies

"Eating is something we do every day, so we think that we know food. And yet, how would you explain the connections between our gender and how we eat? The understanding of food politics requires a grasp of intricate social, cultural, aesthetic and symbolic networks through a deliberate interdisciplinary approach. 

"In conjunction with the course, a semester-long lecture series on Gastronomic Discourse and Post-Identity Politics brings together scholars in food studies — from our very own Professor Clare Sammells, anthropology, who gave a lecture on the urban politics of quinoa, to Sorbonne University Professor Gilles Fumey, cultural geography, who flew from Paris to talk to us about the construction of national identity through Swiss chocolate. Students have a chance also to meet these speakers in the classroom and discuss their scholarship.

"Inspired by their conversations inside and outside of the classroom, students develop a research project designed to study specific food practices at Bucknell, and map the construction of communities on campus through meal sharing.

"This seminar focuses on identity construction through culinary practices. Students in the class get a sense of the multiple power dynamics at play in our increasingly interconnected food universe, globally but also individually. After all, eating represents one of our most intimate relations to the world. Who we are is structured by what and how we eat, as well as whom we eat it with."

See what else is being offered by the Department of French & Francophone Studies.

Are we missing out on a cool class? Send suggestions to heather.johns@bucknell.edu.