Call and Response: A Practical Storytelling Method to Build Food Based Community (VA4320.03)

Gillian Goddard

For the past 4 decades Gillian Goddard has been exploring the relationship between Land, food and community. These interests have led to an intense collective praxis utilizing cacao and chocolate to empower ex-colonial countries in their process of economic decoloniality.

Over 3 weekends in April, Goddard will lead an intimate group of students in a call and response process of telling food stories as a means of developing a classroom community. The microcosm of the classroom community experience will be used as an entry point to understand challenges and advantages to sustainable collective relationship. By introducing different culinary ingredients in the historical order in which they were introduced in each student’s homeland region (or utilizing Vermont as their adoptive region) we will tell a story of geographic trade, cultural change and absorption/appropriation. We will examine contrasting perspectives on these changes and experiment with pre and post colonial combinations of ingredients. We will create conversations of texture, color and taste in our process of getting to know each other better and learn the early food stories of farmers/activists/writers from Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Ivory Coast and Cameroon through digital conversations in addition to our in-situ learning.

This course is part of the project, Far Away yet So Very Close: Embodiment of Culinary Wisdom and Storytelling, which the Visual Arts faculty member, Yoko Inoue, collaborates with diverse scholars, artists, activists, collectives and practitioners to coalesce and develop Critical Kitchen Pedagogy for in-situ learning.

This course is conducted during three consecutive weekend sessions: April 14-16, April 21-13, and April 28-30.
Students should be available during the following dates and times for on-site, hands-on workshops that include participatory culinary sessions and communal meals:
Fridays 7-9 pm / Saturdays 10:30 – 2 pm * / Sundays 11:00am-2:30 pm

*Some additional meetings on Saturdays from 7:00-9:00pm may be required.

Learning Outcomes:
-The embodied experience of forming safe and healthy community
-A practical understanding of how a collective search for local food knowledge and food preparation can be a powerful community building tool
-Exposure to individuals from several global communities that center regenerative food production (farming) and circular economy food preparation. What does this look like in a real world context?
-An examination of replicability in building food centered community action
-System examination of Global South versus Global North opportunities and challenges in building food based community

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: A paragraph indicating interest in narrative from the BIPOC perspectives to Please describe how it applies to your research and/or creative work and experience.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 2
TBA (3rd module block)
Maximum Enrollment: 8
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 3rd Module Block , 4000 , All courses , Fully In-Person , Two Credit , Updates , Visual Arts (VA)
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