FSEM1010-02.FSEM: Have you eaten?.F13.Relyea,Scott

Faculty Name

Scott Relyea

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Course Title

FSEM: Have you eaten?

Academic Term and Year

Fall 2013



Area of Study


Course Description

We are what we eat, or so we’re told. Food, though, offers more than simply nourishment; the grains, the vegetables, the meats we eat; the spices we use; the cooking methods we employ all reflect the region or the culture in which we live, grow up, and eat. The foods we eat are markers of identity; the tastes, the smells, the beauty of the dishes are the threads which bind together families and communities – a people. The foods we eat can also cure our ills or make us queasy; they may cool us or warm us; the spices we use may numb our tongues or set them ablaze. Our understanding of food and its properties, its effects on our bodies, and its relationship with our environment are also markers of identity. But that identity is neither historically nor culinarily stable since foodstuffs, especially from the New World, criss-crossed the globe transforming cuisines and altering palates. We will explore the importance and meaning of food in Chinese culture and society in the past and present across diverse regions and ethnicities by reading and watching a wide variety of sources – from cookbooks to academic articles, from films to anime – with a speaker or a mapou doufu popping in. Through this investigation of cuisines, of ingredients, of food we will emphasise and improve your ability to read critically, think analytically, and draw connections. And in the process learn about China… and about the foods and cuisines of China… Ni chi le mei? 你吃了没?Have you eaten?

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