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Food Studies Program

Food Studies Program

Minor Requirements

The Food Studies program positions food at the center of academic inquiry, calling attention to the multifaceted ways food, and discourses surrounding it, influence us as not only as biological beings, but social and cultural actors as well. 

Food Chemistry in Italy
May 22 - June 27, 2020

Spelman Food Studies Program in ItalyThis exciting four credit hour course fulfills the natural science requirement for non-majors and explores the chemistry of food and the cooking process from a scientific basis. Each week students will create an edible experiment and look at the science behind how it all works.

A Spelman-Italy course at the Umbra Institute program will allow Spelman students and others to take a Spelman Food chemistry course in Italy. Since Spelman’s Food studies program examines the ways food is centered in political discourses in both domestic and global spheres with an emphasis on African diasporic communities, the program will connect our students to African and Peruvian communities in Italy. Engaging in these communities will allow students to understand food practices and food as a marker of cultural identity to socially controversial issues such as economic globalization, local economic development and empowerment, and sustainability.

The total cost of this trip is $3680. This does not include airfare and food.

Apply Now  Food Chemistry in Italy Brochure (PDF) 

Students can still apply for the 2020 Food Chemistry summer study program in Perugia.

An accepted application will not be considered complete until the $500 initial deposit has been recorded by student accounts. The application process will remain open until all spaces are filled.

$500 - non-refundable deposit due as soon as accepted. This payment will secure your spot.
$1060 - first installment due on or before Jan. 24, 2020 (new student applicants can submit this installment by the February date)
$1060 - second installment due on or before Feb. 21, 2020
$1060 - final installment and passport verification due on or before March 20, 2020. All payments must be paid by this date.

The ticket to Rome must be purchased no later than April 15, 2020.  (Use to track rates)

Real-World Skills

The Food Studies Minor requires students to engage multiple theoretical and disciplinary perspectives, transcending individual disciplinary constraints in order to explore food in innovative ways. Food as the object of scholarly attention is not new. Many features of food are commonly explored across academic disciplines, from chemistry, biology and environmental sciences to economics, history, humanities and the social sciences. The minor seeks to guide students in questioning the very foundations of what we consider “food” to be, challenging them to consider how food - its naming, production, distribution, and consumption - is historically contingent and, as critical food studies researchers note, is simultaneously a site of pleasure and power dynamics. 

Upon completion of the minor, students will be able to do the following:
  • Develop a global and comparative perspective about food’s cultural, social, and biological significance
  • Develop an intersectional framework from which to understand gendered experiences of food production, distribution, and consumption
  • Understand that food lies at the nexus of multiple dimensions—environmental, political, biological, cultural, etc. — and approaches to addressing food-related problems must be multifaceted; 
    Apply theoretical approaches to studying food to real world problems
  • Examine the ways food is centered in political discourses in both domestic and global spheres (e.g., social welfare policies, conglomeration of food corporation, food system, globalization, constructions of world hunger)
Agricultural Class Archives

An agricultural class of Spelman women working in the Victory Garden in the early part of the 20th century (circa 1904-1920). Courtesy of the Spelman College Archives.


Food Studies in Action