Food Studies Program

Course Descriptions

Undergraduate
Graduate

FSP 100/EYE 199 Introduction to Food Systems
Using social science perspectives, this course introduces students to food systems and their components (e.g., agricultural production, food processing, consumption, regional linkages, food and agricultural policies), to alternative food movements and issues of social justice, and to the field of food studies. Cr 3.

FSP 200 Food, Power and Social Justice
This course explores social as well as environmental dimensions of sustainability in today’s globalized food system. We use conceptual frameworks, including food justice and food sovereignty, to analyze power and justice in relation to farmers and agro-ecological systems, farm and food industry workers, business owners and policymakers, as well as communities and consumers. Cr 3.

FSP 210 Food and the Environment
This course examines the relationships between the natural environment and human-made food systems and the environmental impacts of food production, processing, distribution, and disposal. We explore how different frameworks and different analytical methods help us to identify strategies for making the food system more sustainable and resilient. Students will research a food system-related environmental problem and prepare a policy or design brief to address that problem. Cr 3.

FSP 215 Entrepreneurship and the Business of Food
This course examines the entrepreneurial activities associated with the development, launch, and growth of food-based businesses. This class uses local case studies, lecture, and experiential learning to introduce students to the role entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking play in business success. Cr 3.

FSP 225 Topics in Food Studies
Topics courses are designed to explore specialized theoretical and substantive topics related to food and agriculture. FSP 225 may be repeated for credit, as long as the topics are different. Cr 1-3.

FSP 300 Food: History, Culture, Politics
This course will explore the history, culture, and politics of food in America with a special emphasis on New England and regional differences. The course will examine colonial food ways including diet, food theft, trade patterns, and regional diversity; 19th century health, sanitation and temperance reforms; the rise of cooking schools, food writing, and regional cuisine; and contemporary issues such as fast and slow food, terminator seeds, organic farming and the diet industry. Cr 3.

FSP 320 Poverty and Hunger
One paradox of the contemporary food system is that it generates both hunger and obesity at the same time; in this course, we examine the extent of hunger, malnutrition and starvation in the world. This course examines societal structures of inequality as key determinants of access to food and the links between agricultural technologies, trade, hunger, and the reconfiguration of the global agri-food system. Finally, we evaluate solutions to problems of hunger, starvation and malnutrition. Cr 3.

FSP 395 Internship in Food Studies
The course is designed to provide real-world experience of and insight into food system-related professional roles through work in a community food-based business, organization or agency. The primary objective of the internship is the application of the perspectives, substantive knowledge, and methods studied in the Food Studies Minor curriculum to a particular organizational setting. In addition to field placement responsibilities, students are expected to regularly reflect and report on their experience. Contact the Food Studies Program Director or Administrative Specialist for details. Prerequisite: FSP 100 (can be concurrent). Cr 3-6.

FSP 602 Power and Powerlessness in the Food System
This course explores social dimensions of sustainability in the globalized food system. We use conceptual frameworks, including food justice and food sovereignty, to analyze power and justice in relation to farmers and agro-ecological systems, farm and food industry workers, business owners and policymakers, as well as communities and consumers. Cr 3.

FSP 603 Environmental Resilience and Food Systems
Today, we are confronting a series of interlocking crises--ecological, social, and economic--in which the food system takes center stage. How do we confront and address the nature of our times? This course is designed to provide students with an advanced knowledge of the food system as it relates to environmental sustainability and resilience. We will use critical conceptual frameworks to examine the way social and ecological processes organize the food system. After critically appraising the industrial food system, we will explore practical actions communities are taking to realize ecologically just and sustainable food systems. This course provides students with theories, concepts, and tools for analyzing environmental and social issues within the food system and adequately addressing them. Prerequisite: PPM 572/672. Cr 3.

FSP 620 Poverty and Hunger
One paradox of the contemporary food system is that it generates both hunger and obesity at the same time. This course focuses on the extent of hunger and malnutrition in the U.S. and globally, as well as their causes, consequences, and remedies. We examine societal structures of inequality determining access to food and the links between agricultural technologies, trade, the global agri-food system, and hunger. Finally, we evaluate solutions to problems of hunger and malnutrition. In addition, graduate students in this combined course will examine the distinctive and significant gender dimensions of hunger and food insecurity. What does it mean to claim that hunger and food insecurity are gendered? What is the evidence in support of this claim? What are the implications of a gender-sensitive analysis for mitigating hunger? Given its cross-listing, this course is interdisciplinary, drawing on and seeking to integrate concepts, theories, and core assumptions of several disciplines including Food Studies, Social Work, and Sociology. Cr 3.

FSP 695 Food Studies Internship
This course is designed to provide real-world experience of and insight into food system-related professional roles through work in a community food-based business, organization, or agency. The primary objective of the internship is the application of the perspectives, substantive knowledge, and methods studied in the Food Studies graduate-level curriculum to a particular organizational setting. In addition to field placement responsibilities, students are expected to regularly reflect and report on their experience. Cr 3.