Our thinking on the complex question, “What is American food?” is shaped by what we read together in our course, “Food in American Society and Culture,” at Brown University in spring 2017:

What is Food Studies?

Food & Identity: Are We What We Eat?

Food and the Construction of Gender and Sexuality

  • Dusselier, Jane. “Bonbons, Lemon Drops, and Oh Henry! Bars: Candy, Consumer Culture, and the Construction of Gender, 1895-1920” (pp. 13-49) In Sherrie Inness (ed.) Kitchen Culture in America: Popular Representations of Food, Gender, and Race. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001.
  • LeBesco, Kathleen. “There’s Always Room for Resistance: Jell-O, Gender, and Social Class” (pp. 129-149) In Sherrie Inness (ed.) Cooking Lessons: The Politics of Gender and Food. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001.
  • Bentley, Amy. “Men on Atkins: Dieting, Meat, and Masculinity” (pp. 185-195) In Heldke, Lisa et al. (Eds.) The Atkins Diet and Philosophy. Chicago and La Salle, IL: Open Court Press, 2005.
  • Carrington, Christopher. “Feeding Lesbigay Families” (pp. 187-210) in Food and Culture Reader Third Edition. Carole Counihan and Penny Van Esterik (editors). New York: Routledge, 2013.

Food and the Construction of Ethnic and Racial Identities

  • Gabaccia, Donna R. “Introduction,” and “Conclusion,” pp 1-9, 225-32. We Are What We Eat: Ethnic Food and the Making of Americans. Harvard University Press, 2000.
  • Diner, Hasia. Chapters 1 and 3, pp. 1-20, 48-83. Hungering for America: Italian, Irish, and Jewish Foodways in the Age of Migration. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001.
  • Poe, Tracey. “The Origins of Soul Food in Black Urban Identity: Chicago, 1915-1947,” American Studies International, 37:3 (1999): 4-33.
  • Lu, Shun and Fine, Gary Alan. “The Presentation of Ethnic Authenticity: Chinese Food as Social Accomplishment.” The Sociological Quarterly 36:3 (1995): 535-53.
  • Heldke, Lisa. But is it Authentic? Culinary Travel and the Search for the “Genuine Article,” pp. 385-94. The Taste Culture Reader, Carolyn Korsmeyer, ed. Berg, 2008.
  • Ferman, Roberto. “How Americans Pretend to Love Ethnic Food,” The Washington Post (April 22, 2016).
  • Levanya Remanthan, “Why Everyone Should Stop Calling Immigrant Food ‘Ethnic,’” The Washington Post (July 21, 2015).

Food Media: Why Do We Like to Eat Food – and Read, Watch, Snap & Tweet It??

Food, Nutrition & Health: What Should We Eat?

The History & Aims of Dietary Advice 

  • Biltekoff, Charlotte. Eating Right in America: The Cultural Politics of Food and Health. Duke University Press, 2013.

Nutrition Science & Its Affects: What of Critical Nutrition Studies? 

Bad Diet as Public Health Crisis: The Obesity Epidemic

  • Oliver, J. Eric. Fat Politics: The Real Story behind America’s Obesity Epidemic. Oxford University Press, 2006.

Culture, Power, Access and Assistance: What Shapes the American Food System?

The Culture of the American Food System

  • McMillan, Tracie. The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table. Scribner, 2012.

 Hunger in America

  • Hunger in America (1968 documentary, CBS)
  • Hunger in America (2014 documentary: Kanopy Streaming 2015)
  • Rector, Robert (The Heritage Foundation), “Reducing Hunger and Very Low Food Insecurity,” Testimony before the US House National Commission on Hunger, 2015.
  • Berg, Joel. “Are Americans Hungry or Fat?”; “The Charity Myth”; and “Here It Is: The Plan to End Domestic Hunger,” From All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America? Seven Stories Press, 2008.

Economics and Politics of Federal Food Assistance: The Case of SNAP

  • Overview of Federal Food Assistance Programs, Feeding America.
  • Tanner, Michael. “SNAP Failure: The Food Stamp Program Needs Reform.” Cato Institute Policy Analysis, no. 738 (September 1, 2013).
  • Rosario, Katherine. “Food Stamp Myths and Realities: Why Cuts Aren’t Catastrophic, ” The Heritage Foundation, Heritage Action (January 9, 2014).
  • Rosenbaum, Dorothy. SNAP is Effective and Efficient,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Reports (March 21, 2016).
  • Rosenbaum, Dotti and Keith-Jennings, Brynne. “House 2017 Budget Plan would Slash SNAP by Over 150 Billion in Ten Years,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Reports (March 11, 2013).
  • “A Closer Look at Who Benefits from SNAP,” Center on Budget Policy Priorities Reports (2016). )
  • Berkeley Food Institute. The Future of SNAP: Improving Nutrition Policy to Ensure (2015).
  • The Future of Food: How (and What) Will We Feed the World?

The Future of Food