Digital Projects and Global Food Cultures

By: Kathryn Dolan  

Aided by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, in spring 2018 I taught an experimental course: “Sustainable Foods in Latin American Literature.” In this literature course, we read novels and poetry focusing on the subject of food and culture: the work of Laura Esquivel and Pablo Neruda, for example. The primary project of the course was for students to form groups and prepare film clips—three to five minutes long—of themselves cooking specific Latin American dishes. I feel this multi-modal assignment allowed my students to more fully integrated with global cultures and their foods—specifically with Latin American nations and cultures. Cooking clips are popular on the internet and in social media. I am translating this familiar mode of presentation into another cultural context. My class studied the authenticity of their chosen dishes—including issues of sustainability, researched their ability to purchase needed ingredients locally or adapt them—a process that involved their producing a grocery store ethnography, learned enough about media production to create a clean film clip, and analyzed the process in terms of their appreciation of another culture through their food in a final essay. I propose a pedagogical presentation on this assignment to discuss what we learned in terms of global cultural competencies. I will present samples of the student films, as well as samples of their response papers.

Global Multicultural Experiential
2018 Special Focus: Digital Food Cultures
Focused Discussion

Dr. Kathryn Dolan

Associate Professor, Nineteenth-Century US Literature, Missouri University of Science and Technology, United States
MO, United States

Dr. Kathryn Dolan is Associate Professor of Nineteenth-Century U.S. literature at Missouri University of Science and Technology, where she teaches and researches food studies, environmental criticism, and globalization studies. She is also affiliated with the Global Studies and Sustainability minors. Her first book, Beyond the Fruited Plain: Food and Agriculture in U.S. Literature, 1850-1905, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2014, where it was awarded the Virginia Faulkner Fund Award. It examines the agricultural experiments of U.S. authors as they challenged and critiqued the early stages of industrialized agriculture in the late nineteenth century. Her second work, Cattle Country: Race, the Environment, and the U.S. Frontier is under contract. She also actively publishes in journals and edited collections, and regularly presents at conferences. In spring 2015 she attended the SOAS food forum course in London.