Edible Matters: Cartography and the Cultural Biography of Food (VA4220.01)

Yoko Inoue

Food, place and politics. This course investigates food in the globalized world considering political economy, history of colonialism and cultural identity. Focusing on various geographical locales, we examine the economic factors, socio-political structures and cultural implications behind what determines the value of food based on power relationships and global trade strategies. The class investigates how the cultivation of commodity crops, such as sugarcane, tea and tropical fruits, reshaped landscapes and people’s lives through colonization. We examine the ways that the subsequent establishment of the globalized industrialized food systems have affected environments, national sovereignty, labor, economic and human rights, cultural heritage and identity. This is a research-based course which incorporates transdisciplinary approaches, including visual arts methodologies (drawing sculpture, photography, performance, video), to render diagrams and draw maps to visualize the intricacies and obscure relationships that are found in contemporary foodscapes. Students will present the results of their research in an exhibition style presentation incorporating multidisciplinary visual arts forms.

Learning Outcomes:

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: One VA studio course. Please contact faculty to discuss ideas and to receive permission (email yinoue@bennington.edu).
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
Th 1:40PM - 5:20PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: All courses , Visual Arts (VA) , Fully In-Person