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    Vassar College
  Feb 18, 2018
Catalogue 2017-2018
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ITAL 168 - Food Culture and Italian Identity

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)

How did spaghetti and meatballs become the symbol of Italian cuisine in the United States? Is it true that pasta was not invented in Italy? How did a cookbook contribute to the creation of national identity? Could abolishing pastasciutta make Italians more optimistic? Images of food and dinner tables pervade Italian art and literature, celebrating pleasures or projecting desires, passing on traditions or stirring revolutions. In this course we examine how eating and cooking habits intersect with material and cultural changes in Italy at various times, ranging from the Middle Ages to the present. We investigate how issues of personal, regional, and national identity are shaped and expressed by food habits. Fiction and non-fiction writings, recipes, documentary and fiction film, advertising, and television shows provide the basis for discussion and writing assignments. Simona Bondavalli.

Open only to freshmen; satisfies the college requirement for a Freshman Writing Seminar.

May not be counted towards the Italian major.

Two 75-minute periods.

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