Taste for Culture in Spain

A TASTE FOR CULTURE IN SPAIN

Faculty Leader: Dr. Ana Laguna, Department of World Languages and Cultures

Travel Dates: May 2020

Class Meeting Times: Wednesday 6:00 PM - 7:20 PM

Course Number: 50:940:387

Program Cost: Approximately $3,400*

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The tastes and flavors of a country’s table are a powerful manifestation of its collective memory. This course will explore the deep link between geography, politics, cultural exchange, and culinary history. Attention will be devoted to the development of a specific normative taste and food practices created or endorsed through the ‘invisible’ threads of political and religious orthodoxy.

The first meetings of the seminar will be dedicated to covering the history of three main cultures that left an imprint in Spanish cuisine even after they were separated in the 15th century: the Jewish, Moorish, and Christian. These classes will explore the reasons for the expulsion of such non-Christian cultures and the ways in which food practices reenacted their presence. In Spain, we will be able to taste this hybrid history and to assert the extent of its survival.

Among the topics to be discussed are the role of ideology and symbolism in the emergence of national or regional taste, the appearance of a table etiquette (in the Renaissance) as a form of social distinction (and its manifestations today), the representation of food practices in media and cinema, and the future prospects of an emerging field such as food ethics and sustainable agriculture.

There will be 3 major destinations: Madrid, San Sebastian, and Seville. All major culinary hubs that are known for the influence of Jewish, Arabic, and Northern European cultures.

Program Cost Includes:

  • Airfare
  • Housing
  • International health insurance
  • Some meals and excursions

Program Cost Does Not Include:

  • Passport, visa, or airport entrance or exit fees (if applicable)
  • Vaccinations
  • Remaining meals

*Program cost is approximate and subject to change. Program cost is in addition to tuition.