The Anthropology of Food in Greece: the Mediterranean Diet and More



The Anthropology of Food in Greece: the Mediterranean Diet and More
 Syllabus The Anthropology of Food in Greece: the Mediterranean Diet and More July Summer Session ­ MS325 June 27 – July 23, 2016 Instructor: Dr. Aimee Placas [email protected] COURSE DESCRIPTION The “Mediterranean Diet” has received a great deal of attention over the past 25 years as a dietary pattern with significant health benefits. Lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, better brain health, and more – this manner of eating has come to symbolize an overall healthier way of being and a longer life. To think of diet in this way, however, is to think of food as simply nutrition. The rich symbolic life of food, its place in social relationships, its importance to ritual, its connection to regional and national identity, its ties to memory: all of these are lost in the focus on diet as diet alone. This course places this regional diet back into its region, looking at the history and social context in which the Mediterranean diet developed in Greece, and exploring the many different meanings that the production, preparation, consumption, and contemplation of food has in contemporary Greek society. Along the way, we'll discuss issues of globalization, Europeanization, changes in agriculture, food tourism, food security, poverty, and consumer protection. We'll also thoroughly interrogate the ideas of “traditional” and “local,” two concepts central to the discussion of regional diets. When we are not in the classroom, we will visit farms, vineyards, groves, restaurants, markets, museums, kitchens, sweet shops, cooperatives, NGOs, and festivals in our quest to experientially study food in Greece. We’ll meet and learn from farmers, merchants, food scientists, nutritionists, chefs, winemakers, politicians, cheesemakers, nuns, and everyday people who cook and eat. And we will do those things ourselves too! LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR STUDENTS ● You will gain a firm understanding of the anthropology of food as a specific disciplinary approach to understanding the cultural dimensions of food practices. ● You will become familiar with the bibliography related to food in Greece, and be able to place it within a general understanding of the social structures of contemporary Greek society and their historical development. ● You will learn to think about preparing, sharing, and eating food as activities that are central to building human relationships and creating meaning. ● You will become a critical reader of advertising, labeling, and popular news stories related to food and health. ● You will have broadened your palate with many amazing new tastes and textures. ● You will receive a basic introduction to ethnographic research methodology and have put those research methods into practice in your own projects. Page 1 of 8 Syllabus ASSIGNMENTS Students will keep a participant­observation journal (some writing/research prompts for the journal will be provided and will be required, other journal entries will have a general format). Reading responses for each of the texts assigned are also required. Quizzes covering reading and lectures will be scheduled three times over the course. Food journal. ​
Students will have four journal entries due every week, for a total of 16 entries over the course. Each entry should be a minimum of 150 words in length, unless otherwise specified by a required prompt. Each entry will either answer a prompt assigned or relate a personal experience to one of our readings or discussions. The purpose of the food journal is to encourage students to use our classes to analyze their experiences with food outside of the classroom. All prompts and grading rubrics will be distributed on the first day of class. Reading responses. ​
Reading responses are a short paragraph written in response to each article assigned, giving a summary of the article's argument and ideas/questions/connections that the article inspires in the student's thought. Classes will be strongly discussion­based, and students will be expected to use their prepared responses as part of having an engaged discussion in the classroom. Quizzes. ​
Quizzes will follow a short­answer and essay question format and will cover the assigned readings and the lectures. GRADING Food Journal ­ 45% of the final grade Quizzes ­ 45% of the final grade Participation and the reading responses ­ 10% of the final grade. ATTENDANCE Students are expected to be present for classes and for all arranged activities. ELECTRONIC DEVICES Computers are available in Athens at CYA for student use for writing, but not when we are traveling. It is recommended that students have their own laptop or tablet with them that they can use to complete their writing assignments. ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES​
: If you are a registered (with your home Page 2 of 8 Syllabus institution) student with a disability and you are entitled to learning accommodation, please inform the Director of Academic Affairs and make sure that your school forwards the necessary documentation. SCHEDULE A block calendar will be distributed on the first day of class with our readings schedule and our outings schedule. Our preliminary outings schedule is below: Monday, June 27 taverna dinner Tuesday, June 28 classroom Wednesday, June 29 classroom Thursday, June 30 workshop with Hellenic Health Foundation Friday, July 1 workshop with Hellenic Health Foundation Saturday, July 2 free day Sunday, July 3 free day Monday, July 4 free day Tuesday, July 5 open market tour Wednesday, July 6 cooking class with Chef Lazarou and lunch at Varoulko Thursday, July 7 Oinotria Gaia winery tour Friday, July 8 classroom and cemetery visit Saturday, July 9 farmers' market tour, meeting with market assn. president Sunday, July 10 free day Page 3 of 8 Syllabus Monday, July 11 free day Tuesday, July 12 free day Wednesday, July 13 classroom Thursday, July 14 Aegina island trip, pistachio growers cooperative Friday, July 15 classroom Saturday, July 16 family organic farm and dairy Sunday, July 17 departure for Koroni Monday, July 18 cooking class, classroom, Koroni tour Tuesday, July 19 cooking class, Olive oil press museum, olive oil tasting Wednesday, July 20 Papadimitriou food company Thursday, July 21 cooking class, monastery visit, trip to Glyfada village Friday, July 22 wrap up, farewell dinner Saturday, July 23 transfer return to Athens BIBLIOGRAPHY Some of these texts will be assigned in full for reading as homework, while others will be addressed in smaller selections during class. The block calendar will make this clear. All texts are available in electronic format on Moodle. This bibliography is subject to change, to accommodate new research and publications. Alexandratos, Nikos. 2006. “The Mediterranean Diet in a World Context.” ​
Public Health Nutrition​
9 (1a). Arnott, Margaret L. ​
Gastronomy: The Anthropology of Food and Food Habits​
. Walter de Gruyter, 1976. Bach­Faig, Anna, Elliot M Berry, Denis Lairon, Joan Reguant, Antonia Trichopoulou, Sandro Dernini, F Xavier Medina, et al. 2011. “Mediterranean Diet Pyramid Today. Science and Cultural Updates.” ​
Public Health Nutrition​
14 (12A): 2274–84. Bampilis, Tryfon. Greek Whisky: The Localization of a Global Commodity​
. Berghahn Books, 2010. Bardhi, Fleura, Jacob Ostberg, and Anders Bengtsson. “Negotiating Cultural Boundaries: Food, Travel and Consumer Identities.” Consumption, Markets and Culture​
13, no. 2 (2010): 133–157. Page 4 of 8 Syllabus Barthes, Roland. 2012. “Toward a Psychosociology of Contemporary Food Consumption.” In ​
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, edited by Carole Counihan and Penny Van Esterik, 23–30. Routledge. Bell, Sandra, Kate Hampshire, and Stella Topalidou. “The Political Culture of Poaching: A Case Study from Northern Greece.” ​
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11, no. 4 (2011): 66–73. Cowan, Jane K. 1991. “Going out for Coffee? Contesting the Grounds of Gendered Pleasures in Everyday Sociability.” ​
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The Anthropology of Food and Body: Gender, Meaning and Power. Routledge, 1999. DeSoucey, Michaela. “Gastronationalism Food Traditions and Authenticity Politics in the European Union.” ​
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75, no. 3 (June 1, 2010): 432–455. Du Boulay, Juliet. “Work and Bread.” In Cosmos, Life and Liturgy in a Greek Orthodox Village​
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37, no. 10 (November 1, 2003): 1350–1374. Galanopoulos, Konstantinos, Konstadinos Mattas, and George Baourakis. “Market and Trade Policies for Mediterranean Agriculture: The Case of Fruit/vegetable and Olive Oil.” ​
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1 (2006). Gefou­Madianou, Dimitra. “Exclusion and Unity, Retsina and Sweet Wine.” In ​
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, edited by Dimitra Gefou­Madianou, 108–136. New York: Routledge, 1992. Goodman, David, and E. Melanie DuPuis. “Knowing Food and Growing Food: Beyond the Production–consumption Debate in the Sociology of Agriculture.” ​
Sociologia Ruralis 42, no. 1 (2002): 5–22. Goody, Jack. 1982. “State of Play.” In ​
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. Scientific & Medical Division, MacMillan, 1989. Herzfeld, Michael. 1985. "Chapter 5: Stealing to Befriend," in ​
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Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp 163­205. Holtzman, Jon D. 2006. “Food and Memory.” ​
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35 (1): 361–78. Iossifides, A. Marina. “Wine: Life’s Blood and Spiritual Essence in a Greek Orthodox Convent.” In ​
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6, no. 1 (2005): 64. Kravva, Vasiliki. 2008. “The Taste of Belonging: An Ethnographic Approach to the Study of Commensality and Collectivity.” ​
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1: 202–51 Kizos, Thanasis. “Multifunctionality of Farm Households in Greece.” ​
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348 (26): 2599–2608. Trichopoulou, A, E Vasilopoulou, K Georga, S Soukara, and V Dilis. 2006. “Traditional Foods: Why and How to Sustain Them.” ​
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