Poverty in the United States|
Fall 2011 not offered
|Course Cluster: Urban Studies|
This seminar will address the history of poverty and of poor people, focusing primarily on the production, consumption, and availability of food. We will take as our assumption that food, hunger, and nutrition are political issues that are vital to how states, corporations, and citizens understand their ethical obligations to, and power over, others. Placing events in the United States (such as the the food stamp program developed in the 1960s) in a comparative global context, we will think about how different states and societies interact over, negotiate about, and imagine solutions to the problem of feeding their people.
Effective Citizenship, Designing, Creating, and Realizing
Students will learn to conceptualize and complete a research paper. They will use basic historical research methods to write a critical analysis of a governmental or non-governmental intervention in nutrition and/or the food supply; alternatively, they may choose to write about political or faith-based organizing around the production, distribution, and/or consumption of food. The paper will be completed in three distinct stages. In the first, students will choose a topic, consult with a research librarian about the available sources, and write up an evaluation of what they might use and where they think it may take them; in the second, they will write a rough draft and work on what to emphasize as an argument and how to complete the research; in the final stage, they will polish the paper and make a presentation to the class about their findings. At each stage, I will consult with the student and read drafts.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Richard Cloward and France Fox Piven, REGULATING THE POOR: THE FUNCTIONS OF PUBLIC WELFARE
William DiFazio, ORDINARY POVERTY: A LITTLE FOOD AND COLD STORAGE
Hasia Diner, HUNGERING FOR AMERICA: ITALIAN, IRISH AND JEWISH FOODWAYS IN THE AGE OF MIGRATION
Susan Levine, SCHOOL LUNCH POLITICS: THE SURPRISING HISTORY OF AMERICA'S FAVORITE WELFARE PROGRAM
Sidney W. Mintz, SWEETNESS AND POWER: THE PLACE OF SUGAR IN MODERN HISTORY
Mark Wyman, HOBOES: BINDLESTIFFS, FRUIT TRAMPS, AND THE HARVESTING OF THE WEST
Upton Sinclair, THE JUNGLE
Luis Urrea, BY THE LAKE OF SLEEPING CHILDREN
|Examination and Assignments: |
A final research paper (15-20 pp.); a class presentation; and a complete reading journal.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This is a particularly good course for first-year students who have never written a research paper, who would like to develop their research and writing, who would like to experiment with a new interest or who would prefer to learn in a non-competitive environment where challenging accepted wisdom is encouraged. The class is being offered CR/U not because it is easy, but to encourage students to take the intellectual risks that the course offers.
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