Many authors have stated that what and how we eat defines who we are. If the saying ‘you are what you eat’ is true, many of us are in trouble. Food culture differs according to gender (men/women), class, ethnicity, and religion. Food culture is regarded as the marker of ethnic identity, and the cement of social cohesion. Food culture changed because people moved, as did goods and ideas. Techniques (production, cultivation, transport, cooking) changed, and fashion changed. Authorities tried to influence what people (children, pregnant women, migrants) ate. Firms tried to influence eating habits via advertisements.
In this course students can choose from a multitude of primary sources: novels, newspaper articles, women’s magazines, cookbooks, company archives, municipal archives, government archives, commercials, advertisements, and interviews. Students will study when and why food cultures (in the Netherlands, in the colonies, and elsewhere) changed. They can study this topic for any period between 1500 and now.
The course is part of an international master programme in Europe devoted to food cultures and systems. It offers access to various networks of European scholars, in the first place primarily in Bologna, Brussels, Ghent, Leiden and Tours, and beyond these at institutions in Paris, Exeter, Parma, Padova, Valencia, Leuven, Copenhagen, Trondheim, Amsterdam, Munich and Darmstadt. More information about the International Food History Master. Students can take part of this programme, but they can also follow this course separately.
General learning objectives
The student has acquired:
- The ability to independently identify and select literature, using traditional and modern techniques;
- The ability to independently identify and select sources, using traditional and modern techniques;
- The ability to analyse and evaluate a corpus of sources with a view to addressing a particular historical problem;
- The ability to analyse and evaluate literature with a view to addressing a particular historical problem;
- The ability to independently formulate a clear and well-argued research question, taking into account the theory and method of the field and to reduce this question to accessible and manageable sub-questions;
- The ability to independently set up and carry out an original research project that can make a contribution to existing scholarly debates;
- The ability to give a clear and well-founded oral and written report on research results in correct English, when required, or Dutch, meeting the criteria of the discipline;
- The ability to participate in current debates in the specialisation;
- (ResMA only:) The ability to participate in a discussion of the theoretical foundations of the discipline.
Learning objectives, pertaining to the specialisation
- Thorough knowledge and comprehension of one of the specialisations or subspecialisations as well as of the historiography of the specialisation, focusing particularly on the following:
- in the specialisation Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence: the manner in which migrations (of people, goods and ideas) between and within states have led to shifts (in cohesion, ethnic composition, policies, imaging, culture, and power relations) in the period 1600-2000, with a focus on (urban) networks (within and across borders);
- Thorough knowledge and comprehension of the theoretical, conceptual and methodological aspects of the specialisation or subspecialisation in question, with a particular focus on the following:
- in the specialisation Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence: the interdisciplinary approach (application of theories and methods from social sciences), the comparative perspective (diachronic and synchronic) and working with a large variety of primary sources;
Learning objectives, pertaining to this Research Seminar
- Has developed insight into the interdisciplinary approach (application of theories and methods from social sciences), the comparative perspective (diachronic and synchronic) and and the skills to work with a large variety of primary sources;
- (ResMA only) ResMA students have developed:
a. The ability to interpret a potentially complex corpus of sources;
b. The ability to identify new approaches within existing academic debates;
c. Knowledge of the interdisciplinary aspects of the specialization.
- (ResMA only) ResMA students have developed:
Mode of instruction
Total course load: 10 EC x 28 hrs = 280 hours
Writing paper: 98 hours.
Attendance: 28 hours.
Preparing for class/reading literature: 48 hours.
Preparing presentations: 16 hours.
Carrying out research: 90 hours.
Written paper (ca. 7500 words, based on research in primary sources, including footnotes and bibliography)
Measured learning objectives: 1-8, 12 (ResMa also: 9, 13a-c)
Measured learning objectives: 3-7, 12
Measured learning objectives: 10-12
Written paper: 70%
Oral presentation: 20%
Class participation: 10%
Additional requirements for the ResMa students: The paper has to be based on more extensive archival research or research based on primary sources. The student has to show (especially in the paper) innovative insights.
The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average with the additional requirement that the written paper must always be sufficient.
Written papers should be handed in within the given deadline.
Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the paper is to be revised after consultation with the instructor.
Blackboard will be used for:
No books need to be bought. Articles can be downloaded via the Leiden library website.
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