fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Fall Quarter

Fall Quarter Underway
Late-Start Classes
Still Available
shopping cart icon0

Courses

« Back to Liberal Arts & Sciences

HIS 154 — How Food Made History

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: On campus
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Sep 26—Nov 28
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 9
Unit(s): 1 Units
Tuition: $355
Status: Open
Please Note: Class sessions: 8 Mondays, September 26 – November 28, 7:00 – 8:50 pm; No class on November 7 and November 21; Optional field trip to Salinas: Saturday, October 29
Fall
On campus
Mondays
7:00—8:50 pm
Date(s)
Sep 26—Nov 28
8 weeks
Drop By
Oct 9
1 Units
Fees
$355
Open
Please Note: Class sessions: 8 Mondays, September 26 – November 28, 7:00 – 8:50 pm; No class on November 7 and November 21; Optional field trip to Salinas: Saturday, October 29
This course will examine watershed moments in global history through a unique prism—the history of food. Food plays a central role in everything we do. And if you look back in time, you’ll discover that food products—like meat, wheat, coffee, and olive oil—are often integral to historical changes. Industrialization, revolution, the spread of Islam and Christianity—these historical developments were all bound up with the history of food.

In this course, we will embark on a journey through global history, moving from prehistory through civilizations of antiquity, early empires of America and Asia, and European colonization in Africa and into modern times. Each week, we will look at an important historical moment and essential food product to see how food put people into movement and sometimes conflict. For example, sugar production was part and parcel of slavery in the American colonies, and later, chewing gum became synonymous with globalization in the late 19th century and after the two world wars. This course requires no prior knowledge in world history, only a healthy curiosity and a willingness to explore how history gets made by the simple things in everyday life.

This course includes an optional field trip to the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. The session includes a guided visit through the center’s exhibit, which, along with discussion, will introduce us to migrant labor in industrialized agriculture. Transportation and museum entry costs will be the responsibility of the student. More information will be provided at the first class meeting.

Martina Kaller, Visiting Associate Professor in History, Stanford

Martina Kaller is a global historian and food scholar. She is an associate professor at the University of Vienna and has taught at UC Santa Barbara and Stanford. Her forthcoming book, Delicious Migration: Street Food in a Globalized World, deals with street food sold by immigrants in past and present global cities.

Textbooks for this course:

No required textbooks
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)