Thursday, 6 September 2012

FCC: Kicking off the Colloquium

After months of preparation and countless e-mails, Wednesday, September 5th and the official start to Denison's first-ever Food and Culture Colloquium finally arrived. Organised as a series of 24 lecture-style modules and a coordinated series of "In the Kitchen" practicums (read: cooking classes) to provide practical experience, the FCC has five aims en route to preparing participants for a field study trip to Cincinnati next April. By the end of the colloquium, it's my hope that those participating will have been: 1) exposed to a variety of themes that intersect with food, culturally or otherwise; 2) grounded in the introduction to the general field of food studies, as rooted in a liberal arts tradition and format; 3) knowledgeable of contemporary issues regarding food and foodways; 4) able to articulate food identity from a variety of lenses and complementary identities; and 5) comfortable in explaining and (ideally) preparing food. Certainly a tall order indeed! But with over three dozen individuals representing more than 24 different areas of the college and area communities, I'm confident we'll get there.

Throughout the course of the colloquium, I'll post summaries and links to suggested readings (if applicable) for each session, and of course photos and videos as they become available. Having said this, and to kick off the colloquium, I began with an introduction to the colloquium's context and format, much of the information of which can be found online. Following my presentation (click here for a copy of my PowerPoint presentation; leave a note in the comments section if you'd like me to e-mail you the accompanying script), Brooke of our Center for Career Exploration and Development referenced Delish.com's article on "Unusual Food Jobs" as she provided an introduction to wonderful careers (as well as graduate opportunities) in the fields of food. To wrap up our first session, Niles of Dining Services provided a brief history of collegiate dining and the progression of today's needs and challenges in feeding a gastronomically diverse population.

Suggested readings for this session:
Next week, our topics will focus on the Slow Food Movement and sustainability as practiced by one of our student groups on campus; I hope we'll continue to build consistency in attendance and grow our group from the approximately three dozen folks who were able to join us at the end of quite a busy day!

For more information regarding the 2012-2013 Food and Culture Colloquium at Denison University, click here.

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