IHC Series Focuses on Food and the World
With more than 35 million people in the United States going hungry at any given time, food — or the lack thereof — has become one of the most pressing issues of contemporary culture. With that in mind, UCSB’s Interdisciplinary Humanities Center is devoting the entire academic year to exploring the subject of food in a series titled “Food Matters.”
The series will examine food production and consumption, food as a commodity, the global food crisis, environmental aspects of food production, slow food, gardens, sustainability, farmers markets, diet, and the cultural history of food.
So far, the program has included a talk by anthropology professor emeritus Brian Fagan; a screening of the film “The God of Cookery”; and a roundtable discussion on the global food crisis featuring John Schnittker, former United States Under Secretary of Agriculture. Other fall events include a talk by Ronald Tobin, professor of French, on literature and gastronomy; and screenings of the films “What’s Cooking?”; “Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers” ; and “Our Daily Bread.”
Winter and spring events include talks by Laura Shapiro, author of “Perfection Salad,” and Marion Nestle, author of “Food Politics”; an evening with performing artists Cooking con Karimi (con Castro); a visit from National Public Radio’s The Kitchen Sisters; a panel discussion exploring the role of maize in the lives of California migrant workers; an event in the UCSB Community Garden with edible-front-lawn proponent Fritz Haeg; roundtables with local food producers and food policy organizers; and three conferences exploring various food topics, including “Food Sustainability & Food Security” in February, and “Food Matters: Arts, Activism and Research” in May. In addition, several undergraduate courses that include the subject of food will be taught in conjunction with the series.