Nature’s Past: Histories of Environment, & Society with Dr. James McCann

Gastronomy Students:  If you are looking for an elective next semester, consider MET ML 589 Nature’s Past: Histories of Environment, & Society with Dr. James McCann.  He has provided us with a brief description of the course.

kenkey-groundnut_star-beer
Kenkey Groundnut and Star Beer

I teach and think about connections between
our physical world, humans role in that and what they grow, eat,
and talk about eating.  It tells us a lot about our world(s).

Environmental history has its methods defined by the parameters of science and the natural world –flora, fauna, topography, seasons—as well as human elements of technology, demography, and social organization.  Cooking and cuisine is at the apex of these interactions.  This course will examine the work of key historians in the emerging field of environmental history and the role of food/cooking in that human/nature interaction.

bukom_tusker_cow-peas-page-001
Bokum, Tusker, and Cowpeas
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Calabash London

The course begins with historical/cultural landscapes and ends up in Boston’s landscape of food in bistros, food trucks, groceries, and storefront restaurants.  It will include 3 group sessions in that will focus on particular dishes from Africa, the American South, and Italy as examples of the movement of ingredients, ideas, and techniques. The goal is to explore ingredients and the ecologies of cuisine.  There seems to be a growing local, and global fascination with the world of food and how ideas in our world of what we eat, and cook, merge and diverge.  Wonderful stuff about who we are.

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Egusi and Fufu
All photos provided by Dr. McCann

05-1075 McCANN, JAMES Office Portrait of CAS History Prof. McCann 01/18/05

James C. McCann
Professor of History
Associate Director for Development, African Studies Center
Faculty Fellow, Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer Range Future
Boston University
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