writting about food

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You will be devising a topic (a foodway) of your own choosing for this essay, based upon course materials and discussions.

You are invited to explore a foodway by employing some of the methods and critical approaches demonstrated in the textbook. Some students will be examining a specific community food access program and relating it to the issues addressed in class. Others are very interested in one of the California agrarian labor histories we’ve discussed. Some will write about policy and education relating to various health and nutrition issues.

Personal food narratives are not acceptable for this assignment, nor is the first person voice acceptable under any circumstances.

Comparisons outside an American food context may not lead to the best success unless they are very carefully explained through reference to course readings. So, if you have a global or ‘transnational’ topic in mind, think carefully about how your topic will satisfy that expectation as you develop it. Like “technology,” “American food context” could be quite broad, indeed. But you’ll need to explain that somehow to make this work well. You can!

Some topics will relate more explicitly to labor and economic issues, while others may focus more on shared practices within family and cultural groups, but recall the textbook’s approach to identity work and material/symbolic meanings, regardless of your chosen topic.

If you have specific questions about your topic development, great! There will be some in-class discussion, and there are lots of office hours for paper discussion, including some that coincide with the normal class meeting time Tuesday, the week of Thanksgiving (when you have your final Field Work day):

The final scheduled class meeting, Tuesday 12.3, will be an open essay discussion session.

Emails about paper topics and essay details cannot be responded to, and alternative meeting times are not available at this time.

Basic Requirements:

1,200 words minimum (not to exceed 1,400 words- one point lost for exceeding 1,400, and .5 for every 100 words over thereafter).

Must employ at least two outside critical sources, the textbook, and two course readings not from the textbook.

Due last week of classes, not finals week. You may use the scheduled class time December 5 to complete the essay (instead of attending class, though we may run an open essay discussion session per student interest) in order to help accommodate timely completion, and you will have until 11:59pm on that date to submit. Essays will lose 10% per day thereafter, with no credit possible after Thursday, December 12.

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