Undergraduate course

Current Anthropological Research: The Anthropology of Food

Level of Study


Teaching semester

Autumn 2019

Objectives and Content

This course gives a comprehensive introduction to a specific area of contemporary anthropological investigation. Current research trends and recent theoretical developments are explored through critical discussions with emphasis on anthropology's evolving engagement with the selected field. The course offers a unique opportunity to be acquainted with diverse aspects - methodological, epistemological and theoretical - of the research process, aspects that lie at the very basis of anthropological analysis and practice, and of ethnographic production.

Course theme autumn 2019: The Anthropology of Food

Food pervades several aspects of our life: it is not only our source of nutrition and sustenance but it is also a great source for symbolic elaboration when people express their political and moral standpoints. The study of food teaches us a great deal about world cultures, and food has long links with early anthropologists who investigated the centrality of foodways to human culture. This course draws on anthropological theory and ethnography to examine the role of food in history and culture, and to explore the relationship between food and human existence.

Food is the source of an enormous amount of human labor and it is an object of great meaning. Through ethnographic examples from all over the world, the course invites the student to reflect upon social, cultural, environmental, and political-economic perspectives on food. It will raise a range of questions, such as: How are food tastes formed? How do food choices express class differences? How have food regimes changed through time? What problems exist in the global food systems and what causes them? How do different food production systems impact the environment? We will also explore food-based social movements, for example, slow food.

Learning Outcomes

A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


  • provide an overview of the field of study addressed in the course, with particular reference to its history and theoretical and methodological debates in social anthropology


  • explain the current state-of-art of research in the field of study addressed in the course
  • explain the various methodological and theoretical considerations that must be taken in order to further develop the field of study

General competence

  • apply key concepts and perspectives from the course and its field of study independently, in the understanding and analysis of local and global processes
  • apply an understanding of the correlation and difference between empirical data, theory and analysis in text production

Required Previous Knowledge


Access to the Course


Teaching and learning methods


Compulsory Assignments and Attendance


Forms of Assessment

Take home exam, 5 days. Words: 3000 (+/- 10 %)

Grading Scale


Assessment Semester

Assessment in teaching semester.


Department of Social Anthropology


Contact Information


Phone: +47 55 58 92 50

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Take home examination

    Assignment handed out
    14.10.2019, 09:00
    Submission deadline
    18.10.2019, 14:00
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam