i'm teaching two new special topics courses this spring. one of them is called eating san francisco. classes begin january 28.
Eating San Francisco
Weds, 6:15-9:00 pm, Cowell Hall 413
Professor: David Silver
Office hours: Tues & Thurs, 10-11 am, Kalmanavitz 141
Contact: dmsilver [ at ] usfca [ dot ] edu
EATING SAN FRANCISCO is a special topics media studies seminar focusing on food, culture, and the city of San Francisco. In this course, we will a) read books and watch films to better appreciate the relationships between food and culture, b) take field trips and arrange dinners to better understand San Francisco's diverse neighborhoods and cultures, c) learn how to cook and document a delicious meal made entirely of seasonal, regional ingredients, and d) learn about and how to use appropriate forms of social media to present and share our findings.
o Reel Food: Essays on Food and Film, edited by Anne L. Bower (Routledge, 2004)
o Reclaiming San Francisco: History, Politics, Culture, edited by James Brook, Chris Carlsson & Nancy J. Peters (City Lights Books, 1998)
o The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan (Penguin, 2006)
Introduce ourselves, distribute syllabi, and discuss course expectations
o Anne L. Bower, “Watching Food: The Production of Food, Film, and Values,” from Reel Food, pp. 1-13.
o Richard A. Walker, “An Appetite for the City,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 1-19.
o Michael Pollan, “Our National Eating Disorder,” from The Omnivore’s Dilemma, pp. 1-11.
o Margaret Coyle, “Il Timpano - To Eat Good Food Is to Be Close to God”: The Italian-American Reconciliation of Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott’s Big Night,” from Reel Food, pp. 41-59.
o Marlisa Santos, “Leave the Gun; Take the Cannoli: Food and Family in the Modern American Mafia Film,” from Reel Food, pp. 209-218.
o Bernie Lubell, Dean MacCannell, and Juliet Flower MacCannell, “You Are Here (You Think): A San Francisco Bus Tour,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 137-150.
Watch (prior to class):
o Big Night (Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott, 1996).
o Nancy J. Peters, “The Beat Generation and San Francisco’s Culture of Dissent,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 199-215.
o James Brook, “Remarks on the Poetic Transformation of San Francisco,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 123-135.
Field trip: class meets in North Beach for dinner and walkabout.
o Miriam Lopez-Rodriquez, “Cooking Mexicanness: Shaping National Identity in Alfonso Arau’s Como aqua para chocolate, from Reel Food, pp. 61-73.
o Margaret H. McFadden, “Gendering the Feast: Women, Spirituality, and Grace in Three Food Films,” from Reel Food, pp. 117-128.
o Carole Counihan, “Food, Feelings and Film: Women’s Power in Like Water for Chocolate,” Food, Culture & Society 8.2 (Fall 2005): pp. 201-214.
o Like Water for Chocolate (Alfonso Arau, 1993).
o Timothy W. Drescher, “Street Subversion: The Political Geography of Murals and Graffiti,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 231-246.
o Juan Felipe Herrera, “Riffs on Mission District Raza Writers,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 217-230.
o Randy Shaw, “Tenant Power in San Francisco,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 287-300.
Field trip: class meets in the Mission for dinner and walkabout.
o Raymond Armstrong, “All-Consuming Passions: Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover,” from Reel Food, pp. 219-234.
o Rebecca L. Epstein, “Appetite for Destruction: Gangster Food and Genre Convention in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction,” from Reel Food, pp. 195-208.
o Ann Garrison, “Suicide in the City,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 115-121.
o The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (Peter Greenaway, 1989).
o Readings, film, and meeting place to be determined by students.
March 25: SPRING BREAK!
o David Greven, “Engorged with Desire: The Films of Alfred Hitchcock and the Gendered Politics of Eating,” from Reel Food, pp. 297-310.
o Gayle S. Rubin, “The Miracle Mile: South of Market and Gay Male Leather, 1962-1997," from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 247-272.
o Marina McDougall and Hope Mitnick, “Location: San Francisco,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 151-161.
o The Times of Harvey Milk (Rob Epstein, 1984).
o Milk (Gus Van Sant, 2008).
Field trip: class meets in the Castro for dinner and a walkabout.
o Michael Ashkenazi, “Food, Play, Business, and the Image of Japan in Itami Juzo’s Tampopo,” from Reel Food, pp. 27-40.
o Pete Holloran, “Seeing the Trees Through the Forest: Oaks and History in the Presidio,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 333-352.
o James Lyons, “What About the Popcorn? Food and the Film-Watching Experience,” from Reel Food, pp. 311-333.
o Tampopo (Juzo Itami, 1985).
April 22 (Most likely, class will meet Saturday, April 25)
o Anthony W. Lee, “Another View of Chinatown: Yun Gee and the Chinese Revolutionary Artists’ Club," from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 163-182.
o James Sobredo, “From Manila Bay to Daly City: Filipinos in San Francisco,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 273-287.
o Susan Schwartzenberg, “Going Public: The San Francisco Civic Center,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 21-34.
Field trip: class meets for dim sum and walkabout in Chinatown.
o Michael Pollan, “Industrial Corn,” from The Omnivore’s Dilemma, pp. 15-119.
o Julie Guthman, “Can’t Stomach It: How Michael Pollan et al. Made Me Want to Eat Cheetos,” from Gastronomica (Summer 2007), pp. 75-79.
o King Corn (Aaron Woolf, 2007).
Field trip: class meets at McDonald’s on Haight Street for dinner and walkabout.
o Michael Pollan, “Pastoral Grass,” from The Omnivore’s Dilemma, pp. 123-273.
o Jesse Drew, “Call Any Vegetable: The Politics of Food in San Francisco,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 317-331.
o The Real Dirt on Farmer John (Taggart Siegel, 2005).
o Michael Pollan, “Personal - The Forest,” from The Omnivore’s Dilemma, pp. 277-411.
Field trip: class meets in USF’s organic garden for dinner and revelry.
Each of the following constitute roughly 10% of your final grade:
Reading and film-related quizzes and exercises
Class participation and collaboration
North Beach project
McDonald’s on Haight Street project
USF’s Organic Garden project
Cook and document a delicious dish project
Cook and document a localvore meal project
If you are concerned about your grade, you may request a meeting with me anytime during the semester.
1. No late work accepted.
2. In class and during field trips, try your best to listen to and learn from everyone.
3. Starting February 4, no drinking out of non-reusable containers in class. Be creative with your thirst-quenching solutions.