ARTICLES Please also visit Academia.edu to view many of the following articles
“The Politics of Food Anti-Politics” Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, v. 16, n. 4 (Winter 2016): 44-57.
“What Makes Food Good?,” Charles C. Ludington and Matthew M. Booker, (ed), in Food Fights: How the Past Matters in Contemporary Food Debates, University of North Carolina Press (Forthcoming)
Carolyn Thomas, Jennifer Sedell, Charlotte Biltekoff and Sara Schaeffer. “Abundance, Control, and Water! Water! Water!: The Work of Eating at Work.” Food Culture & Society Special Issue on Food Choice (June 2016): 251 – 271.
Sara Schaefer, Charlotte Biltekoff, Carolyn Thomas De La Pena. “Healthy, Vague: Exploring Health as an Influence within a Food Choice Matrix.” Food Culture & Society Special Issue on Food Choice (June 2016): 227 – 250.
"Embracing the Elephant," in response to Thinking Critically about Academic-Industry Collaborations in Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, v. 15, n. 3, (Fall 2015): 59-60.
"Interrogating Moral and Quantification Discourses in Nutritional Knowledge" with Jessica Mudry, Aya H. Kimura, Hannah Landecker, and Julie Guthman, Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, v. 14, n. 3 (Fall 2014): 17-26.
"Nutrition as a Project" with Aya H. Kimura, Jessica Mudry, and Jessica Hayes-Conroy, Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, v. 14, n. 3 (Fall 2014): 34-45.
"Doing Nutrition Differently" with Jessica Hayes-Conroy, Adele Hite, Kendra Klein, and Aya H. Kimura, Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, v. 14, n. 3 (Fall 2014): 56-65.
"Critical Nutrition Studies," in The Oxford Handbook of Food History (Oxford University Press, 2012).
"The Frontiers of Food Studies" Warren Belasco, Amy Bentley, Charlotte Biltekoff, Psyche Williams-Forson, Carolyn de la Peña, Forum Section, Food Culture and Society, v. 14, n. 3 (September 2011): 301-314.
"Functional Foods For Health: Negotiation and Implications." National Agricultural Biotechnology Council Report 22: Promoting Health By Linking Agriculture, Food and Nutrition (2010).
"Food Culture and Consumer Response: Reflecting on Key Tensions." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1190 (2010).
"The Terror Within: Obesity in Post 9/11 U.S. Life." American Studies v. 48, n. 3 (fall 2007): 29-48.
"'Strong Men and Women Are Not The Products of Improper Food': Domestic Science and The History of Eating and Identity." Journal for the Study of Food and Society v. 6, n. 1 (winter 2002): 60-69.
Design Thinking For Food (Food Science and Technology 298)
This course, co-taught with Dr. Lauren Shimek, seeks to develop a new generation of food system innovators who know how to work in radically multidisciplinary teams and can combine technical expertise with sensitivity to the human needs and social and cultural dynamics that shape the food system. Working in teams, students from across campus learn and apply the tools of both Design Thinking (design research, synthesis, brainstorming, prototyping, storytelling) and Food Studies (understanding food within social and cultural contexts). The current class project focuses on reducing food waste in institutional settings, with a focus on the UCD dining commons. The class culminates with a public event in which students present their proposals and received feedback from a panel of both experts in food system innovation and dining commons staff. This project is funded with the support of the UC Davis Innovation Institute for Food and Health.
Food in American Culture (American Studies 55) This course is about why we eat what, and how, we do. Together we will ask a lot of questions about American eating habits: Why is it so important for families and communities to come together at the table (but not put their elbows on the table)? Is cooking an expression of creativity and power for women, or a sign of their oppression? Are we really what we eat? Should we love or loathe convenience foods? What kind of role should responsibility play in our choices about what to eat? What should the future of food look like? We will use many disciplines (history, sociology, anthropology, consumer research) and analyze many different kinds of texts (images, TV shows, films, newspaper articles, radio stories).
Eating in America (American Studies 155) Breakfast, lunch and dinner are inseparable from larger questions about culture, power and identity in the United States. In this class we rethink the meaning of what is on our plates. We explore the way in which food expresses identities, establishes social hierarchies, forms families, and serves as a bridge between cultures. What are the cultural politics of eating in “ethnic” restaurants? Are tacos American food? What is so important about family meals? What does it mean to eat a Big Mac in China? We explore these and many other questions about the relationship between food and culture through a range of creative methods that includes field work in local restaurants, film and television screenings and a final project that entails creating your own food exhibit.
New Food Product Ideas (Food Science and Technology 159) This course focuses on the “fuzzy front end” of new product development, which includes trend monitoring, consumer insights, idea generation, concept screening, and, finally, new product concept presentations. Students will act as researchers throughout the course, engaging in projects that will help them to understand food consumers and the current marketplace, and identify and target gaps in that market. Students will explore grocery store shelves, deconstruct popular products, conduct ethnographic observations of shoppers and use focus groups and web surveys to screen and refine new product concepts. Finally, they will pitch new product concepts to a panel of experts.
Food and Health in the U.S. (American Studies 101c) This class is about the relationship between food, health and culture in the United States. What does it mean to examine dietary health from a cultural, rather than a scientific, perspective? We explore questions such as: Where do our ideas about food and health come from? How are beliefs about dietary health influenced both by science and culture? What is the relationship between food, health and morality? Between food, health and identity? Who gets to define dietary health? The class focuses on the ways in which lessons about food and health are communicated (nutritional guidelines, dietary reform movements, school food programs), how the food industry sells the idea of health and manages perceptions of health risks related to new foods (natural foods, functional foods, organics, biotechnology), and issues related to the relationship between body size and health (anorexia, dieting, obesity).
Critical Perspectives on Diet and Health: Rethinking Obesity (American Studies 160) What is health? While this seems like the kind of question we might turn to doctors or scientists to answer, in this seminar we consider health from a cultural perspective and use the tools of American Studies to investigate the obesity epidemic. Where do our ideas about what constitutes health and illness come from? How do they express social values? When and how did fatness become a medical problem, a social problem, a disease? Why do so many Americans hate fat people? Why does it matter if we think obesity is caused by poor will power or by a “toxic environment”? What is fat activism? We explore these questions and many more through reading, talking, and analyzing the world around us: newspaper articles, weight loss programs, speeches by President Bush, film (Super Size Me) Video (YouTube), TV (The Biggest Loser), and much more.
Interdisciplinary Skills (American Studies 100) Students in this course gain an understanding of the field of American studies and engage with the field in three ways. First, they learn to read critically, assess and discuss American studies scholarship. Second, they practice applying some of the methods that American studies scholars use in their work. Finally, they conduct original research and present their findings in both a written essay and an oral presentation. The general theme we explore in this class is consumer culture. Topics within that general framework include race, gender, sexuality, the body, popular media and food. We engage with a wide range of sources including advertisements, TV, music, objects, and film.