Skip To Content
Spelman Students

Our Stories

Essence Roberts Participates in Southern Foodways Alliance Oral History Workshop

August 2016

Food Studies Minor Essence Roberts Participates in Oral History ProjectEssence Roberts, C’2017, recently participated in the Southern Foodways Alliance’s 2016 Oral History Workshop at Emory University in Atlanta. She was the only undergraduate student among the group of young scholars and documentarians chosen to study SFA’s methods and approaches to oral history fieldwork and collecting life stories of residents of the American South.

During the workshop, participants learned digital recording skills and techniques, listened to lectures from Atlanta-based historians and documentarians, visited with former SFA oral history narrators and collected an oral history interview. The session ended with participant presentations.

Food Studies Minor at Spelman CollegeFor her presentation, Roberts, a sociology major and food studies minor, conducted an oral history interview with Tassili Ma’at, owner of Tassili’s Raw Reality, a vegan café in Atlanta’s West End community.

Food Studies at Spelman

The Food Studies program at Spelman College was approved as an academic minor in fall 2015. Currently, it is housed in two academic divisions under the leadership of Dr. Kimberly Jackson, chemistry and biochemistry and Drs. Daryl White and Ashanti Reese,  sociology and anthropology. Other key members are Dr. Mona Phillips, sociology and anthropology and Mr. Robert Hamilton, art and art history.

A ten-year project in the making (with a faculty food group, a student Slow Food Chapter, campus gardens, food brown bag series and funding from an outside agency),  this interdisciplinary minor positions food in the center of academic inquiry.

The program poses questions about food that can only be answered from multiple perspectives and requires a form of critical thinking that transcends individual disciplinary constraints. Many features of food are commonly explored in many academic disciplines, from chemistry, biology and environmental studies to economics, history, and anthropology.

Students enrolled in the food studies minor have the opportunity to take courses at Spelman and cross-register at local colleges and universities to take other approved food courses. Food studies courses currently offered at Spelman include: Cellular Food Toxicology, Food Chemistry, Nutrition and Cancer, Food and Culture, Caribbean Economic History: Food and Sustainability, Food in the City and Poverty and Social Justice.

Submit Your Story

We want to hear from you. Briefly tell us about your Spelman achievements. If more information is needed, we will contact you.

Please Note: We appreciate your contribution, but submission of your information does not guarantee you will be featured in Our Stories.
Enter your full name.
For example, C'2020
Limit 500 characters. HTML tags are not allowed. Tell us a little about yourself and why you would like to be profiled in Our Stories.
* Photo
Please provide a large, quality photo.
Be sure the video is marked as Public.
How Did You Hear About Our Stories? (check all that apply)

* Accept Terms