Universität Wien

240521 SE Anthropology of Food - From the Beginnings to Current Debates (P4) (2020W)

Continuous assessment of course work

Participation at first session is obligatory!

The lecturer can invite students to a grade-relevant discussion about partial achievements. Partial achievements that are obtained by fraud or plagiarized result in the non-evaluation of the course (entry 'X' in certificate). The plagiarism software 'Turnitin' will be used for courses with continuous assessment.


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 20 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Update 3.11.2020: Due to the current Covid-19 Situation the course will change to digital till the end of the year.

Tuesday 20.10. 09:00 - 13:00 Hörsaal A, NIG 4.Stock
Tuesday 03.11. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital
Tuesday 10.11. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital
Tuesday 24.11. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital
Tuesday 01.12. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital
Tuesday 15.12. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Covid19-UPDATE (31/10/2020):
From Nov 3rd on, the seminar takes place online only (by use of the tool Collaborate)
Access to the online tool will be provided on the Moodle platform (section 2).

The course introduces anthropological theory and practice about food (and consumption). Students will be enabled to identify and analyse research areas of food anthropology by studying anthropological texts (and doing brief fieldwork). Processes of appreciation and devaluation of food practices are shown as an integral part of emphasizing differences and the common consciousness of belonging in societies. The importance of food (and materiality) will become unveiled on different social levels and ranks. The social phenomena of recent 'food consumption' in the 'West' as well as the 'South' are discussed in their historical context, as 'markers of difference' inside societies, as socio-cultural expressions of societal relations as well as power relations and in the context of social sciences its significance for processes of globalisation and hybridisation. Considering 'food consumption' both as basic need and as possibility to express preferences and structures of power, the course highlights the social, cultural and practical importance of food consumption for the formation of societies worldwide.
The students learn to
· understand anthropological theory and practice in the context of (food) consumption,
· recognize food consumption both as basic need and status marker within societies,
· to understand different, 'cultural-based' influences on living and consuming conditions,
· to comprehend the impact of 'globalisation' through consumption patterns,
· students are trained to discuss and analyse case studies on the basis of the existing theoretical anthropological approaches.

The methodology of the course includes:
+ short input sequences
+ presentation of documentations and videos
+ discussion of anthropological texts, text & film analysis
+ topical working groups with particular assignments (e.g. fieldwork, interviews, text/material analysis)
+ all steps supported by blended learning (Moodle)
+ If necessary and only in case of no other option, the seminar will be realised via the video conferencing tool Blackboard Collaborate (via Moodle)

Assessment and permitted materials

+ adequate attendance
+ individual quality of participation
+ written term paper (to be handed in until the 19th of April 2021 latest)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Grading criteria:
+ adequate course participation (attendance = basis to be graded)
+ quality of course participation (20%)
+ continuous accomplishment of assignments (30%)
+ quality of term paper (50%)
Note: plagiarism check by Turnitin

Examination topics

Reading list

Belasco Warren. (Ed.) Food, Culture and Society. Journal of the Association for the Study of Food and Society. Berg Publications.
Counihan Carole M. (Ed.). 1999. The Anthropology of Food and Body. Gender, Meaning, and Power. London & New York: Routledge.
Counihan Carole & van Esterik Penny. (Eds.). 2008. Food and Culture. A Reader. 2nd edition. London & New York: Routledge.
Dolphijn, Rick. 2004. Foodscapes: Towards a Deleuzian Ethics of Consumption. Delft: Eburon Publishers.
Mintz, Sidney W. (2002) The Anthropology of Food and Eating. In: Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol.31, pp. 99-119.
Mintz, Sidney W. (1985) Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 12.05.2023 00:21