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Food and Culture (CLAM071)

StaffProfessor Neville Morley - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

To enable you to reflect critically and independently on the relationship between food and cultural practice in both the ancient world and the modern (Britain and other cultures). In particular, the module aims to guide you to strike a balance between detailed knowledge of the primary material (e.g. medical texts and cookery books) and analysis of the conceptual issues raised by the secondary material.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Detailed knowledge of the food practices of a number of different cultures, including Greek
  • 2. Insight into the way food was approached and discussed in texts
  • 3. Understanding of the reception of ancient eating in later periods

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Collation and analysis of widely different types of evidence, much of which is incomplete and ambiguous
  • 5. Independent understanding of the relationship of food and eating to its cultural and historical context
  • 6. Critical reflection on the origins, development and significance of eating in one's own and another culture

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Compilation of bibliography, conduct of research, and word-processing
  • 8. Independent analysis of written and visual sources and secondary literature
  • 9. Construction and defence of a sustained argument (both written and oral)
  • 10. Collaboration with instructor and peers in a constructive and responsive way
  • 11. Confidence and clarity in oral and written communication

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Agricultural Production and Economy¬†
  • Dining Practices and Society
  • Food and Medicine¬†
  • Big Data on the Roman Table
  • Food and Cultural Change

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching22Intensive seminar and reading group teaching
Guided independent study128Working independently and in groups in preparation for seminars and essays

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay804000 words1-11Mark, written and oral feedback
Oral presentation2020-25 minutes1-11Mark, written and oral feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-11Referral/Deferral period
PresentationEssay1-11Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • J Wilkins and S Hill 2005 Food in the Ancient World (Oxford: Blackwell)
  • Counihan C and Van Esterik P 2008 Food and Culture (London: Routledge)
  • Dalby A 1996 Siren Feasts (London: Routledge)
  • Dalby A 2003 Food in the Ancient World from A to Z (London: Routledge)
  • Davidson J 1997 Courtesans and Fishcakes (London: Harper Collins)
  • Detienne M and Vernant J-P 1989 The Cuisine of Sacrifice (trans. Chicago: University of Chicago Press)
  • Douglas M 1966 Purity and Danger (London: Routledge)
  • Elias N 1978 The Civilizing Process (trans. Oxford: Blackwell) Garnsey P 1999 Food and Society in Classical Antiquity (Cambridge: CUP)
  • Mennell S 1996 All Manners of Food (Chicago: U. of Illinois P)
  • Powell O 2003 Galen: On the Properties of Foodstuffs (Cambridge: CUP)
  • Wilkins J 2000 The Boastful Chef: The Discourse of Food in Ancient Greek Comedy (Oxford: OUP)
  • Wilkins J, Harvey D and Dobson M 1995 Food in Antiquity (Exeter: University of Exeter Press)
  • Davidson A 1999 The Oxford Companion to Food (Oxford: OUP)
  • Flandrin J-L and Montanari M 1999 Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present (trans. NY: Columbia UP)
  • Goody J 1982 Cooking, Cuisine and Class (Cambridge: CUP)
  • Strong R 2002 Feast: A History of Grand Eating (London: Pimlico)
  • Wills J 1998 The Food Bible (London: Quadrille)

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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

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Key words search

Roman Myth, Ovid