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Web Schedule Spring 2018

Revision Date: 06-Nov-17

HUM-2120-VJ01 - The Power of Food in Literature, Culture & Film

Synonym: 164857
Location: Upper Valley
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Hybrid Section: This course meets both online and at the site office. See below or consult VSC Web Services - Search for Sections in the VSC portal for specific dates and times.
Semester Dates: 01-27-2018 to 05-26-2018
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-11-2018 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-25-2018 - Refund Policy
Faculty: Nathan Astin | View Faculty Credentials

Materials/Lab Fees: $3,322.00
Open Seats/Section Limit: 14/16 (as of 10-25-17 11:20 PM)

Comments: This is a special study abroad section which requires separate application and approval prior to registration. Find info at Meets online and at CCV Upper Valley on Saturdays 1/27, 2/17, 3/17, 4/2, 5/26. Travel dates to France: 5/7-5/17.

Course Description:

In this interdisciplinary course, students will explore the power and meaning of food and how it is contextualized within the broader aspects of culture and human experience as revealed and expressed in literature and film. Although food plays a fundamental role in survival, it is also at the heart of shared and ritualized eating practices--from simple to ceremonial--that shape identity and define notions of community. Through interpreting short fiction, novels, poems, essays and select films, students will explore the cultural and social significance of food in a range of world cultures, the role of food as a literary or cinematic device, and the metaphoric quality of food as it expresses human desire and behavior.

Essential Objectives:

1. Define basic literary elements and identify examples where food is employed as a device to express ideas, tone, and values in literature and film.
2. Critically read, view, analyze and evaluate selected works of contemporary literature and film in a broad selection of cultures from around the world, focusing on how food choices, and food-related rituals and behaviors reflect issues of identity and community.
3. Describe the metaphoric quality of food in both eating practices and the presentation of food in a variety of cultures, and discuss how food (or its absence) can powerfully convey meaning in social contexts.
4. Examine the historical, social, economic, political and cultural circumstances surrounding the role and availability of food as it is expressed in selected works of literature and film.
5. Examine how the types and uses of food in film and literature may project a specific, erroneous, or limited image of a culture, and evaluate what is lost and gained in the process.
6. Critically view and analyze films, examining how artistic interpretation and the use of visual imagery and soundtracks influence the portrayal and perception of the role of food in culture and relationships.


Teaching Methods:

·         Small lectures

·         In-class readings, discussions, and analyses

·         Small group in-class projects and presentations

·         Research paper

·         Larger presentations

·         Film and literary analysis

·         Forum posts

·         Guest speakers

·         Travel    

Evaluation Criteria:

·         20% Attendance and Participation

·         35% Presentations and Assignments

·         10% Research Paper

·         35% Moodle forums, posts, assignments

Letter Grade Criteria:

·         A+ (>98)

·         A   (93-97)

·         A-  (90-92)

·         B+ (87-89)

·         B   (83-86)

·         B-  (80-82)

·         C+ (77-79)

·         C   (73-76)

·         C-  (70-72)

·         D+ (67-69)

·         D   (63-66)

·         D- (60-62)

·         F  (<60)


Spring 2018 textbook data will be available on December 1. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be for this course only. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks.

Contact Faculty:

Email: Nathan Astin
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Lesli O'Dowd

  Work Phone: 802-786-2534

Attendance Policy:

This is a very unique hybrid format for a class.  We only meet 5 times in person, and each of those classes is 6 hours long, so missing one of those would constitute 20% of class time missed.  Therefore, it is very important you do not miss face-to-face classes.  If there are extenuating circumstances, we can come up with alternative assignments for you to make up the missed class.  Two face-to-face classes missed will result in an automatic failure of the course.  Attendance will also be factored by weekly participation in Moodle forums and posts.  Attendance and participation is 20% of the overall grade, and factors that will contribute to that grade are Moodle participation, face-to-face class attendance and participation, and the participation during the trip.


It is very important that our class builds a strong community since we will be spending a lot of time together and having amazing experiences as a group.  This makes attendance and participation vital.

Please note: In order to receive accommodations for disabilities in this course, students must make an appointment to see the Americans with Disabilities Coordinator in their site and bring documentation with them.

Academic Honesty: CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.

Course description details subject to change. Please refer to this document frequently.

To check on space availability, choose Search for Classes.

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