Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

Food Seminar

UniversityHonors– 260.01
First Summer Session 1999 Mondays& Wednesdays 1:00-3:15

Dr. Michael Delahoyde

Avery 355 Hours: MTWTh 8:30-9:00& 10:30-11:00
Phone: 335-4832 and byappointment.
e-mail: delahoyd@wsu.edu https://michaeldelahoyde.org/



We will explore food as an interdisciplinarysubject which has inspired literature, art, films, ads and othercapitalist evil, even fine essay writing (e.g., M.F.K. Fisher).Sampling from the seminal works (from Brillat-Savarin to OgdenNash), we will take a Cultural Studies approach, examining thehistorical constructs of recipes (including medieval and moderncookbooks) and meals, fast-food, ethnic cuisine, the weirdnessof American consumption, and the politics of food and food choices.An intriguing punctuation exercise will involve our attempt todecode the ingredients list of a Hostess snack food.

The Potter House location of theseminar will allow for the occasional true “experience”of the subject. Instead of purchasing any texts for this course,you will be expected to make financial investment towards an “oralpresentation”: our class culinary events. We have been encouragedby the Honors College to construct a class web site for this subject,so we’ll discuss ourselves how we want to craft this. We certainlywill keep our eyes and ears (and perhaps, with reserve, our mouths)open to illuminating and useful opportunities and experiences.


1) We each will provide the classat one point during the mini-semester with a culinary experience.This need not be a feast, nor even an entire meal, but it shouldbe exotic and impressive, not chintzy. Coordinating a particularhistorical, ethnic, or thematic event with two other members of the seminar would work well for our limited number of meetings,but we can discuss such scheduling on the first days of class.You will need to purchase ingredients, supply whatever utensilsnot available at the Potter House, prepare, serve, and discussyour culinary contribution. Supplemental features of this presentation(music, visuals, etc.) are encouraged. Think of this not as show-and-tell,but as an “event.”

2) We each will provide researchedand well-written material for the class web site. Think of thiscomponent as a mini-term-paper, and tackle one of such wide-openand virtually untouched projects as: an annotated bibliographyof food essays by seminal writers; the definitive, annotatedfood filmography; a survey-report/restaurant review for the Pullmanarea; a selective bibliography of cookbooks through Americanhistory; structural analyses of recipes; or other materials usefulfor general culinary “literacy.”

[Check out the web site resultingfrom another recent Honors Seminar: www.wsu.edu/~delahoyd/monsters]

3) As need arises, I will askyou for various kinds of short writings: at most, a final take-homeessay; more often, an occasional one-page homework writing onour current topic. I reserve the right to quiz, but I intendfor class to be too distractingly dynamic for us ever to havethe time.

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