Art & Ecology: Food

An interdisciplinary course that examined art and media that critiques or productively re-imagines the production, distribution, and consumption of food. Students drew on readings and independent research and made their own projects.

This class offered a unique opportunity to pursue research on food and food systems in an interdisciplinary context.  This class took developments in philosophy and the visual arts regarding food as its foundation. The class cultivated strategies for how to translate insights about food systems and the cultural aspects of the production of food into visual media speaking to and emotionally impacting viewers.  This semester the theme was “hospitality.” Hospitality is a more complex concept than one might think, particularly as articulated by philosophers like Immanuel Kant, Emmanuel Levinas and most notably Jacques Derrida. Hospitality has profound connections to ecology and a good portion of this class teased that out. Our operative notion of ecology was derived from Felix Guattari’s book Three Ecologies. Student projects were the core of the class and all activities of the class were seen as preparation for those projects.

The fulcrum point of the class is a visit from Seitu Jones, which was co-organized by Elissa Johnson in the Food Studies department. This visit will occur here on campus and also at Brady Farm, which is an important partner for this class.