1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
3 x 4-hour workshops per semester
Topic description
This topic examines how French gastronomy has evolved over time and remains a fundamental trait of French culture despite globalization. This topic will analyse French cuisine from historical, anthropological, social, and cultural viewpoints. A range of issues such as the influence of modern living, ethical questions, health but also new conceptions of wellbeing and hedonism will be explored. A strong identity marker, French gastronomy remains an area of conflict, battles which go over the strict area of cuisine and reflect contemporary fractures in France, and the world. A range of written, aural and/or visual texts, such as those from the media, literature and cinema, will be incorporated into the topic.

Lectures and materials will be delivered in English.
Educational aims
This topic aims to

  • expose students to contemporary cultural and societal issues through the study of French cuisine
  • provide opportunities for the development or consolidation of students' background knowledge of French culture
  • develop learners' critical and analytical skills through the study of texts, and foster students' involvement in individual research projects
Expected learning outcomes
On completing this topic, students will be able to:

  • identify the importance of French cuisine, and its connection to French culture and identity.
  • articulate issues affecting the evolvement of French cuisine in France today, and identify and discuss some of the precipitating factors
  • summarise and illustrate historical, cultural, and social developments related to the themes discussed, and use them as context for the interpretation, comparison and critique of texts
  • identify and organise relevant research material in order to produce original spoken and written text in French or English