Syllabus for Roster(s):

  • 16F COLA 1500-058 (CGAS)
In the UVaCollab course site:   COLA Words We Eat 2016

Course Description

COLA 1500-58  The Words We Eat

Prof. Ashley Williams

Fall 2016

You are what you eat. Honey, eat your vegetables. Fusion. Paleo. Locavore. 

How we talk about food has a surprising influence on how we eat, and reveals much about what we think. In this seminar, we adopt an interdisciplinary approach (including, but not limited to, linguistics, anthropology, history, sociology, and cognitive science) to examine this relationship between food and language. From celebrity chefs to food trucks, from potato chips to freedom fries, we turn our critical and analytic gaze to a cross-linguistic and cross-cultural sampling of menus, recipes, and cuisines. Questions we will consider include: How has the writing of recipes changed through history? What can so-called “ethnic” restaurants and menus tell us about how we view ethnicity in America? Does language Influence the perception of taste? Why do we talk about “healthy” foods and “sinful” foods in such different ways? And why do we call our loved ones “honey” and “sugar”?

This seminar combines college advising and academic study. We will also be working together to navigate the rules of academic integrity, share information about how to thrive at the University, and address practical concerns that new students face. Our seminar is a place of investigation, exploration, support, advice, and more. Welcome! 

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