Studies in Culinary History and the Decorative Arts





Roland Barthes wrote that food is “a system of communication, a body of images, a protocol of usages, situations, and behavior.” An essential aspect of this system is the physical context in which food is prepared and served. This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of connections between food and decorative arts. Students survey the history of dining in Europe and America, drawing on readings from anthropology, archaeology, material culture, social history, and cookery texts. They are encouraged to pursue their own areas of interest and must present their findings to the class at the end of the semester. Topics to be examined include wine, water, beer, fish, oil, herbs, sugar, coffee, tea, bread, chocolate, and the vessels used to store and serve these foods. 3 credits.