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Food in Global History

HIST 214/3.0

This online course will attempt to study aspects of global history using food as a central theme. We begin from the reflection that food has successfully transcended political and cultural boundaries in the global past, and it provides a promising path for interrogating socio-economic and cultural issues in transnational contexts.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will have learned to: 

  • Identify and describe the political history of food and how food has contributed to hegemonic rule and struggles over distribution.
  • Research, discuss and explain the ways in which food shapes major cultural changes
  • Research specific commodities, outline, and evaluate their roles in globalization.
  • Research and evaluate how migration, movements, and birth of new technology were solely caused by demands for certain food items.
  • Research and analyze “hegemonic contests” fought over food by women, the poor, and the racial minorities.

Topics

  • Introduction
  • Politics of Food
  • Sugar
  • Pineapple
  • Bananas
  • Ice Cream
  • Psychoactive substances

Description

This online course will attempt to study aspects of global history using food as a central theme. We begin from the reflection that food has successfully transcended political and cultural boundaries in the global past, and it provides a promising path for interrogating socio-economic and cultural issues in transnational contexts. Beyond the intricacies of production and consumption of food, we will explore the manifold implications of exchange of food leading to environmental change, trade in global commodities, contest of colonial powers, and changes in labor regimes. Using the framework of social history of commodities, we will explore one food item every week after delving into methodological and theoretical issues surrounding food history as a subject of study. Among specific food items, we will study the production, consumption, and exchange of socio-economic and political implications of sugar, bananas, pineapple, ice cream, and several intoxicants. The written work for this course will involve writing short essays on the commodities covered in the course, as well doing a group project on other commodities not covered in the course. Apart from the prescribed texts, materials for the course and the student portfolios will be drawn from digital archives, media resources, and traditional archival resources.

Terms

Winter 2018
Course Dates: 
Jan. 8 - Apr. 6, 2018
Exam Dates: 
N/A

Evaluation

Quizzes10%
Short Papers40%
Creative Group Project20%
Individual Research & Essay30%

** Evaluation Subject to Change **

Live Sessions

This course has required live sessions (e.g. webinars, synchronous activities). Please consult the Timeline in the first week of class.

Instructor

Professor Aditi Sen-Chowdhury (aditi.sen@queensu.ca)

Instructor message

I am Aditi Sen, and I will be your instructor in this course. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am a historian of religion, and I specialized in Ancient Indian Culture and History. I teach at the department of History and the school of Religion. My current research project is on the history of the Zoroastrian community in Mumbai, India. I also happen to be a pop-culture aficionado and that’s something you will notice throughout the course.

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend approximately 10-11 hours per week (126 hours per term) in study, reading, assignments and online activity.

Course Resources

About SOLUS

SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

  • Laptop or Desktop computer purchased within the last 5 years. (mobile devices are not supported)
  • Windows Vista SP2/Mac OSX 10.9 or higher
  • Up to date versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Please note that Google Chrome is not recommended for use in our courses.
  • Most recent version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash

 See also Getting Started.

Dates/Deadlines

The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2017, Fall Term 2017 and Winter Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $666.91; for a 6.0-unit course, $1333.82. See also Tuition and Fees.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point
A+4.30
A4.00
A-3.70
B+3.30
B3.00
B-2.70
C+2.30
C2.00
C-1.70
D+1.30
D1.00
D-0.70
F0.00

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.