Department of English Department of English College of Arts and Sciences
Course Descriptions
Food for Thought

Dr. Cynthia Grant Tucker

Not surprisingly, authors since Homer and the ancient Greek tragedians have used the language of eating and food to explore the human condition: the gluttony of the social elite, the relationships between those who serve and prepare meals and those who consume them, and our impulse to celebrate our survival and triumph over the world’s hostile forces. While the cultivation, harvesting, and preparing of food provide a syntax for customs and values that bind us as communities, the power of food and drink to call forth distant and deeply embedded memories has also made it a natural vehicle for psychological narrative. Setting its focus on 20th century European fiction, this course will explore this theme from aesthetic, historic, and cultural vantage points.

TEXTS (tentative, so check with professor before you purchase these titles):


  • Camus, Albert. Exile & The Kingdom: Stories: ISBN 9780307278586

  • Colette. Gigi and The Cat: ISBN  9780140183191

  • Dinesen, Isak. Babette’s Feast and Other Anecdotes of Destiny: ISBN 0141184639

  • Kafka, Franz. The Transformation and Other Stories: ISBN 9780140184785

  • Maupassant, Guy. Boule de Suif and Other Stories: ISBN 9780140448122

  • Wolf, Christa. Cassandra: A Novel & Four Essays: ISBN 0374519048

  • Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway: ISBN 9780156628709                                                                   

 Additional readings distributed in class. 

ASSIGNMENTS AND WRITTEN WORK: Students will write three critical essays, one of them being the final exam. 

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Last Updated: 3/6/12