MIT OpenCourseWare

21W.730-2 Expository Writing - Food for Thought: Writing and Reading about Food and Culture, Fall 2005

Still Life with Plate of Cherries, 1885-87, Paul Cezanne.
Still life with plate of cherries, 1885-87. Paul Cézanne. (Image courtesy of the WebMuseum.)


This course features samples of student work in the assignments section.


"Civilization is mostly the story of how seeds, meats, and ways to cook them travel from place to place." - Adam Gopnik, "What's Cooking."

"A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one's accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes." - Wendell Berry, "The Pleasures of Eating."

If you are what you eat, what are you? Food is at once the stuff of life and a potent symbol; it binds us to the earth, to our families, and to our cultures. The aroma of turkey roasting or the taste of green tea can be a portal to memories, while too many Big Macs can clog our arteries. The chef is an artist, yet those who pick oranges or process meat may be little more than slaves. In this class, we will explore many of the fascinating issues that surround food as both material fact and personal and cultural symbol. We will read essays by Chang-Rae Lee, Francine du Plessix Gray, M. F. K. Fisher, Anthony Bourdain, and others on such topics as family meals, the art and science of cooking, fair trade, eating disorders, and food's ability to awaken us to "our own powers of enjoyment" (M. F. K. Fisher). We will also read Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation and view one or more films or videos as a class. Assigned essays will grow out of memories and the texts we read, and will include personal narratives and essays that depend on research. Workshop review of writing in progress and revision of essays will be an important part of the course.


Prof. Karen Boiko








麻省理工學院開放式課程認可 開放式課程計畫(OOPS)的翻譯計畫,開放式課程計畫(OOPS)乃是運用其獨立團隊、獨立資源、獨立流程進行翻譯計畫之團隊。


此處麻省理工學院開放式課程之資料乃由 開放式課程計畫(OOPS) 譯為正體中文。麻省理工學院開放式課程在此聲明,不論是否遭遇或發現相關議題,麻省理工學院開放式課程、麻省理工學院教師、麻省理工學院校方並不對翻譯正確度及完整性作保證。上述單位並對翻譯後之資料不作明示或默章鴷穭@特定目的之適合性之保證、非侵權之保證、或永不出錯之保證。麻省理工學院校方、麻省理工學院開放式課程對翻譯上之不正確不負任何責任。由翻譯所引發任何關於此等資料之不正確或其他瑕疵,皆由開放式課程計畫(OOPS)負全責,而非麻省理工學院開放式課程之責。