Course Description

Everyone eats. In this sense, the experience of food is common to us all. Yet the meanings we attach to food—as individuals with complex personal histories and needs, as members of particular cultures, communities, and belief systems—are remarkably diverse and powerful. In this course, we engage works by scholars, poets, and other writers to explore the significance of food as the source of inspiration and debate. This exploration will serve as a basis for our own writing. Our written responses will explore food as it relates to identity, social justice, and the environment—showing how far inquiry into one topic can stretch.

Writing is a conversation. In this course you will develop the analytical, research, and rhetorical skills necessary to engage in scholarly discussion. You will practice methods of academic writing as we evaluate, challenge, and respond to texts through annotations, essays, and creative assignments. Over the course of the semester, you will learn and practice a dependable, manageable, and reproducible writing process to find, develop, and express your own ideas. You will complete regular informal reading and writing exercises, and write three longer essays. To do so, you will pay special attention to the practices of close reading and analysis, research, collaboration, and revision that we develop together. Writing is a means of discovery: a process where you continuously refine your ideas and their expression. It is a skill that anyone can learn and improve through practice.

(This is a “linked” FYI course, which means that the topics we will cover are specifically intended to complement the material from your Environmental Science course. This also means that if you want to drop this course, you need to drop your linked course as well.)


Learning Objectives

  • Develop close reading skills necessary to comprehend and interpret a range genres
  • Utilize informal writing to process information, gain understanding and advance ideas
  • Communicate original arguments using effective rhetorical techniques in formal essays
  • Conduct research and evaluate evidence through your own unique lens
  • Practice conventions of essay planning and writing with academic integrity
  • Take ownership of work and gain an understanding of personal voice, style, and strengths


Essays (60%)
  • Essay 1: Close Read: 15%
  • Essay 2: Lens Literary Analysis: 20%
  • Essay 3: Research Project: 25%
Writing Process and Group Work (40%)
  • Writing/workshop assignments, readings, and annotations: 20%
  • Zero and Formal Drafts: 10%
  • Attendance and participation: 10%