Monday, February 9


For a while now, the SFA has been agitating for Southern Studies classes that focus on food. While we still need – and don’t yet have -- a professor who teaches food studies classes, this semester, David Wharton, director of documentary projects here at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, is offering Studies in Field Work: Food and Culture.

Our SFA graduate student, Alan Pike, is enrolled. (That's Alan in the pic above.) Here’s his take on what’s to come over the course of the semester:

The course, cross-listed for undergraduate and graduate students, provides an opportunity to undertake documentary fieldwork projects in a self aware and self critical manner. The course is taught by David Wharton in collaboration with Joe York and Andy Harper of the Center for Documentary Projects.

In groups, we students will produce short films focusing on “food and culture” for final projects. We will complete oral histories, personal food journals, and fieldwork journals.

We are reading the James Agee and Walker Evans classic, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, Robert Coles’s Doing Documentary Work, Edward D. Ives’s The Tape Recorded Interview: A Manual for Fieldworkers in Folklore and Oral History, Dennis Covington’s Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia, and Warren Belasco’s Food: The Key Concepts.

Although it is early, my group has discussed the possibility of using food as a way to view the current economic situation.