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Italy and Spain are undoubtedly the culinary epicentres of Southern Europe with food cultures that have intersected repeatedly since Ancient times. In this two-week intensive in-country subject students will learn about the centrality of eating to Italian and Spanish ways of life and consider the relationship between identity, place and food. Through a series of programmed food activities students will explore different facets of Italian and Spanish culinary traditions, from handling food as a material object to understanding its place in a sociocultural context. Students will experience firsthand two of the most important food trends in Italy and Spain and understand how in the absence of a national cuisine slow food in Italy and haute cuisine in Spain function as de facto representations of the food nation in the consciousness of both locals and visitors alike. Both Spain and Italy share robust, enduring and immediately recognizable food traditions. However recent food trends in the two countries seem to suggest the absence of such a historically embedded food culture. Students will be asked to consider the effect of globalization on the current state of these two cuisines.
Students will spend one week in northeast Spain and one week in central Italy with arrival and departure from the countries’ capital cities. Accommodation will be shared. While there is no need to speak Spanish or Italian to complete this subject, special arrangements can be made for languages students.
Intended learning outcomes
Students that successfully complete the subject should:
- have experienced first-hand the relationship between food and identity formation;
- be able to critically interpret key food texts, using theories and concepts relevant to food studies;
- understand the interrelationship between local and global food traditions and position this in relation to theoretical discourses of food studies;
- have developed an awareness of what constitutes a national cuisine and be able to articulate this;
- have developed an in-depth understanding of specific historical and cultural issues and contexts in relation to identity and food culture and how these affect foodscapes through time;
- have developed the ability to evaluate the strength of food studies theories, and develop an argument in relation to identity and food cultures.
Last updated: 5 December 2019