University Honors -- 260.01
First Summer Session 1999 Mondays & Wednesdays 1:00-3:15

Dr. Michael Delahoyde

Avery 355 Hours: MTWTh 8:30-9:00 & 10:30-11:00
Phone: 335-4832 and by appointment.



We will explore food as an interdisciplinary subject which has inspired literature, art, films, ads and other capitalist evil, even fine essay writing (e.g., M.F.K. Fisher). Sampling from the seminal works (from Brillat-Savarin to Ogden Nash), we will take a Cultural Studies approach, examining the historical constructs of recipes (including medieval and modern cookbooks) and meals, fast-food, ethnic cuisine, the weirdness of American consumption, and the politics of food and food choices. An intriguing punctuation exercise will involve our attempt to decode the ingredients list of a Hostess snack food.

The Potter House location of the seminar will allow for the occasional true "experience" of the subject. Instead of purchasing any texts for this course, you will be expected to make financial investment towards an "oral presentation": our class culinary events. We have been encouraged by the Honors College to construct a class web site for this subject, so we'll discuss ourselves how we want to craft this. We certainly will keep our eyes and ears (and perhaps, with reserve, our mouths) open to illuminating and useful opportunities and experiences.


1) We each will provide the class at one point during the mini-semester with a culinary experience. This need not be a feast, nor even an entire meal, but it should be exotic and impressive, not chintzy. Coordinating a particular historical, ethnic, or thematic event with two other members of the seminar would work well for our limited number of meetings, but we can discuss such scheduling on the first days of class. You will need to purchase ingredients, supply whatever utensils not available at the Potter House, prepare, serve, and discuss your culinary contribution. Supplemental features of this presentation (music, visuals, etc.) are encouraged. Think of this not as show-and-tell, but as an "event."

2) We each will provide researched and well-written material for the class web site. Think of this component as a mini-term-paper, and tackle one of such wide-open and virtually untouched projects as: an annotated bibliography of food essays by seminal writers; the definitive, annotated food filmography; a survey-report/restaurant review for the Pullman area; a selective bibliography of cookbooks through American history; structural analyses of recipes; or other materials useful for general culinary "literacy."

[Check out the web site resulting from another recent Honors Seminar:]

3) As need arises, I will ask you for various kinds of short writings: at most, a final take-home essay; more often, an occasional one-page homework writing on our current topic. I reserve the right to quiz, but I intend for class to be too distractingly dynamic for us ever to have the time.

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