Food History (HIST*3240) | College of Arts

Food History (HIST*3240)

Code and section: HIST*3240*01

Term: Fall 2022

Instructor: Rebecca Beausaert


Course Synopsis: 

HIST*3240 examines the history of food and foodways across Canada and the United States, largely from the 17th century to the present. The course aims to introduce students to the discipline of food history and how food provides a window into broader societal processes, such as politics, nationalism, economics, religion, race, gender relations, leisure, and consumption. The course will explore a multitude of topics, including the importance of food to various social and cultural groups, the gendering of food preparation and presentation, technological change, evolving agricultural practices, the growth of the food processing industry, and the rise of nutritional science.

The course also has an experiential learning component, offering students the opportunity to work with a historical cookbook, analyze its contents, and present this information to the public by contributing to the creation of a new online exhibition on the "What Canada Ate" digital interface.

The Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a better understanding of the significance of food across historical eras and regions
  2. Communicate advanced knowledge of research methods related to food history, specifically how to identify, analyze, and evaluate diverse modes of primary/secondary research, and be critical of their worth
  3. Apply experiential learning skills gained from the course, such as critical analysis, writing for diverse audiences, collaborative group work, and exhibit design 


7.5 credits

Method of Delivery:

Lectures are scheduled for Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:30am-12:50pm EST. Monday lectures will occur in ROZH 106 and Wednesday classes will be held in the Robert Whitelaw Room (246B) in McLaughlin Library.  

Method of Evaluation and Weights:

Student Engagement - 10%
Weekly Assigned Readings Discussions - 25%
Cookbook Primary Source Analysis - 25%
Peer Editing Exercise - 5%
Completed Digital Exhibit - 30%
Short Reflection Paper - 5%

Texts Required:

No texts need to be purchased for this course. Readings will consist of primary and secondary sources and other media available online or through Ares, the University of Guelph’s online Course Reserve system.

*Please note: This is a preliminary website description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.