Welcome to UNIV 211, Food for Thought.

It’s great to meet you!

In our first week we’ll be introducing the overarching themes of our class, and discussing what it means to take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of a subject, in this case food. When I teach writing and research, I often tell my students that there are no universals, but a class with a topic so broad challenges this claim. Food is essential for human survival, and this makes it a challenging topic to approach from a single disciplinary lens. Is food preparation individual creative expression or a broader cultural practice? Is food an issue of environmental  or economic sustainability? How should food policy address health needs, worker safety, or encroachment on non-human habitats?

These are not mutually-exclusive concerns of course, but organization of human learning and work often presents them as such through simple conventions like disciplinary study or job descriptions. In our course we’ll use multiple disciplinary lenses to understand food production, preparation, and consumption as expressions of broader human structures: social norms, creative impulses, economic pressures, community governance, and ever-shifting power dynamics.

Please note: In week 1 we’ll have an in-class session and an out-of-class session. You can find the requirements for each of our classes at our daily schedule.

Your professor for this class is Kristin Reed. She can be contacted in a couple of ways:

  • email: kreed@vcu.edu
  • Office: Harris Hall 5106
  • Office Hours: MWF, 10am-12pm

If you can’t make her office hours, reach out after class or via email to arrange an alternate meeting time. Office hours are open and walk-in. You don’t need an appointment to come by!

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