GE 2074
Philosophical Perspectives:
Food and Culture

Spring 2015 Weekly Schedule

This schedule is subject to revision, especially in regard to weeks 6-8, when groups will be able to choose from a range of appropriate topics. Please be sure to check weekly for additions or changes to assigned readings or materials. As soon as topics are chosen, I will provide readings for general class use.

Information on major assignments is now available on this link.

Anything underlined on this schedule links to further information.

Week Topic Assignment

Introductory remarks: philosophical perspectives on the role of food in human culture, the humanities and the education of desire

A Brief History of Food, Part 1: Paleolithic through the European Renaissance and the Rise of Islam

Readings: Paleolithic (Wikipedia)
Plato, Republic, Book II (selections; handout)
David M. Kaplan, Introduction to the Philosophy of Food (UNT Philosophy of Food Project)
History of Food: Background Reading (Johns Hopkins)
New Flavors from the Oldest Recipes (Saudi Aramco World)
Assignment: Introductory philosophical statement due week 3 (ungraded, but counts for participation)


A Brief History of Food, Part 2: From the European Enlightenment to the Modern Day (more or less)

Steven Mintz, Food In America (Digital History)
Sarah Nichols, At Table: High Style in the 18th Century (Carnegie Museum of Art)

Supplement: Links for week 2


Group presentation assignments

Library workshop: conducting research for group projects

Read through the Research and Documentation and Style Guide information
Project Guidelines
Introductory philosophical statement due
Laptops and tablets may be used in class for the workshop.


Research Workshop & project development discussions (conducting and documenting college-level research; designing research-based presentations)

Group Presentation Guidelines (scroll down)
UNT Philosophy of Food Project: Arguments (potential topics)
(see the PowerPoint design and theory links for week 6)


Current topics in food and philosophy: The Future of Food

Project proposal and preliminary bibliography due
National Geographic Future of Food series
Future of Food (Bill Gates)
Future of Food Resources (supplement to Deborah Koons Garcia's film)


Group presentation workshop

America's Top Ten Urban Farms (Mother Earth Living)
Fad Diets (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)
Food Labeling Guide (basic information from the FDA); International Labeling Laws (Center for Food Safety)
Tip of the Tongue: Humans May Taste at Least Six Flavors (LiveScience)
Texture and Mouthfeel (Robert Sekuler, Brandeis University)
Edward Tufte on Lousy PowerPoint Presentations (long, but valuable--as is another of his articles, The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint.)
Effective PowerPoint Presentation (Kate Ippolito, Brunel University, London)


Group presentations

(All groups will present due to next week's holiday)


Memorial Day Holiday

Class does not meet


Project Completion Workshop

Bring laptops/tablets, workbooks, readings, and other project-related materials to class for discussion and evaluation.


Art and Appetite: A Culinary Art History
Graduate project presentations

Readings TBA
Projects due

11 Project presentations

Project return, presentations
Final discussion: Rethinking our original positions

last update: 04.27.15