Friday, January 25, 2019


gone: Roger Stone, longtime informal adviser to Trump, arrested by FBI.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Food/Culture/Storytelling syllabus, spring 2019

ENVA 390: Food/Culture/Storytelling
MW, 4:45–6:25 pm, Lone Mountain 350

Professor David Silver (dmsilver [ at ] usfca [ dot ] edu)
Office / hours: Kalmanovitz 141, MW, 1–2 pm & by appointment

This course examines the many overlaps between food and culture from an interdisciplinary and intersectional perspective. We begin with the personal, and trace our own food patterns, consumptions, and heritages. Next, we get political and, with the SF/Bay Area as our landscape and laboratory, explore local actions, apps, and organizations devoted to food activism and food justice. In place of papers and midterms, students will create and share stories – spoken, written, photographic, multimedia, and social – within the classroom and into the community.


Learning Outcomes
By the conclusion of the semester, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate an interdisciplinary understanding of key issues surrounding food and culture with a particular focus on cultural difference and culinary heritage;
  • Engage in intellectually valuable readings, viewings, and discussions about food activism and food justice;
  • Create original multimodal work that explores local actions, apps, and organizations devoted to food activism and food justice;
  • Collaborate with peers and professor to share classroom stories with the broader campus community; and 
  • Reflect upon one’s role and contributions to industrial and alternative food systems.
Wednesday, January 23: Introductions and Expectations

Monday, January 28: Before class, please read: Jenny Linford, “Honey,” in The Seven Culinary Wonders of the World: A History of Honey, Salt, Chile, Pork, Rice, Cacao, and Tomato (2018): pp. 43-73; and watch Stephen Satterfield, “Wild Grapes” (16 minutes),
Wednesday, January 30: Demo Day 1: Everything I ate and drank yesterday project

Monday, February 4: Read Ruben Canedo, “Beyond the Campus Food Pantry”; Estella Cisneros, “Protecting Farmworkers’ Rights”; Adrionna Fike, “A Community Grocery Store Feeds Its People”; Sammy Gensaw III, “Fighting to Save the Salmon”; Breanna Hawkins, “Digesting Data, Transforming Lives”; Kristyn Leach, “Farming Honors the Past and Considers the Future”; Anthony Reyes, “Farming for a Stable Future”; and Rachel Sumekh, “On a Mission to Swipe Out Student Hunger,” from Berkeley Food Institute, Hungry for Change: California’s Emerging Food Systems Leaders,
Wednesday, February 6: Read Kathleen Collins, “Julia Child and Revolution in the Kitchen,” from Watching What We Eat: The Evolution of Television Cooking Shows (Continuum, 2009): 71-100. In class reading: Michael Pollan, “Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch,” New York Times Magazine (August 2, 2009). At 6 pm, we will walk to Fromm Hall to attend Cheryl Haines’ talk “Out of Place: The Power of Art in Unexpected Spaces.” (This event runs until 7:30 pm, past our classtime. Please plan accordingly. Also, there is a reception – free food! – following the talk in Thacher Gallery in Gleeson.)

Monday, February 11: Watch multiple segments of Samin Nosrat, Salt Fat Acid Heat (Netflix); and read Therese Nelson, “Cookbooks, Not Restaurants, Are Giving Black Foodways an Identity,” Taste (September 18, 2018). Also, as a class, we will attend the community dinner at St Cyprian’s Church (Turk & Lyon) from 6-7:30 pm. (This event runs past our classtime; please plan accordingly.)
Wednesday, February 13: Demo Day 2: Food celebrity/food media project

Monday, February 18: No School: Presidents Day
Wednesday, February 20: Read Taiyo Scanlon-Kimura, “‘Bon Appétit!’: The Value of Fellowship at the Table,” “Meet Northern California’s Suppliers of Local Fish, Cage-Free Eggs, and Fair-Trade Produce,” and “SoCal Teams Visit Local Cheese Maker and an Organic Farm,” all online here: Guest Lecture: Taiyo Scanlon-Kimura, Bon Appétit Fellow. Field trip to USF’s Caf for a kitchen and dining room tour.

Monday, February 25: Read Jonathan Kauffman, “Brown Bread and the Pursuit of Wholesomeness,” in Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat (2018): 97-130. In class reading: Edward Espe Brown, “Detailed Instructions for Making Tassajara Yeasted Bread,” in The Tassajara Bread Book (1970): 13-29.
Wednesday, February 27: Bread Workshop at St Cyprian’s Church.

Monday, March 4: Read Shanta Nimbark Sacharoff, “Rainbow Grocery Collective” and “Other Avenues Food Store Cooperative,” in Other Avenues Are Possible: Legacy of the People’s Food System of the San Francisco Bay Area (2016): 71-100. In class viewing: Lisa Brenneis’ film, Eat at Bill's: Life in the Monterey Market (2009).
Wednesday, March 6: Demo Day 3: Food store project

Monday, March 11: No School: Spring Break
Wednesday, March 13: No School: Spring Break

Monday, March 18: Read Ben Mervis, “Curry Grows Wherever It Goes” (53-61); René Redzepi, “If It Does Well Here, It Belongs Here” (87-95); Bini Pradhan, Heena Patel, and Isabel Caudillo, “Food is a Gateway” (103-123); and Krishnendu Ray, “Culinary Difference Makes a Difference” (151-159) from Chris Ying, editor, You and I Eat the Same: On the Countless Ways Food and Cooking Connect Us to One Another (2018).
Wednesday, March 20: Read Osayi Endolyn, “Fried Chicken is Common Ground,” from You and I Eat the Same (71-77); and watch “Fried Chicken,” Ugly Delicious, Netflix (2018). In class reading: Psyche A. Williams-Forson, Building Houses out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, and Power (2006).  

Monday, March 25: Class guests: Lisa Marr and Paolo Davanza, filmmakers who run the Echo Park Film Center ( in Los Angeles.
Wednesday, March 27: Demo Day 4: Food heritage project

Monday, April 1: Read Priya Krishna, “WhatsApp Is Changing the Way India Talks About Food,” New York Times (November 23, 2018); Amanda Mull, “Instagram Food Is a Sad, Sparkly Lie,” Eater (July 6, 2017); Kim Severson, “Neighbor, Can You Spare a Plum?” New York Times (June 10, 2009); Nassos Stylianou, Clara Guibourg and Helen Briggs, “Climate change food calculator: What's your diet's carbon footprint?” BBC News (December 13, 2018); and read/browse Equity at the Table on Instagram,
Wednesday, April 3: Zine workshop with Matt Collins and Anders Lyon, Gleeson librarians. Readings TBD.

Monday, April 8: Read Adam Harris, “Millions of College Students Are Going Hungry: A new government report highlights just how pervasive the problem,” The Atlantic (January 9, 2019). Demo Day 5: Community dinner storytell project. Food/Culture/Storytelling students will provide stories for the free community dinner at St Cyprian’s Church, organized by students enrolled in Rachel Brand’s Community Garden Outreach class. (This event runs past our classtime; please plan accordingly.)
Wednesday, April 10: Read Joshua Sbicca, “Introduction: Food as Social Justice Politics,” in Food Justice Now! Deepening the Roots of Social Struggle (2018), pp. 1-22. In class reading: Alison Hope Alkon and Christie Grace McCullen, “Whiteness and Farmers Markets: Performances, Perpetuations … Contestations?” Antipode (2011), pp 937-959.

Monday, April 15: Watch Scott Hamilton Kennedy, The Garden (2008): 80 minutes; and read Janelle Bitker, “A Meal for the Masses,” East Bay Express (June 13, 2018); and Stephanie Parker, “Edible Landscapes Are Un-Lawning America,” Civil Eats (January 14, 2019). Display workshop with Carol Spector, Gleeson librarian.
Wednesday, April 17: Read selections from Monica M. White’s Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement (2019). In class reading: Black Panther Party, “Free Breakfast for Schoolchildren Program” and “Free Food Program,” in David Hiliard, editor, The Black Panther Party: Service to the People Programs (University of New Mexico Press, 2008): 30-39.

Monday, April 22: Demo Day 6: Food Activism display in Gleeson Library.
Wednesday, April 24: TBD

Monday, April 29: Watch Agnès Varda, The Gleaners and I (2000): 82 minutes.
Wednesday, Mary 1: Read Sandra Cate, “‘Breaking Bread with a Spread’ in a San Francisco County Jail,” Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies (Summer 2008): 17-24.

Monday, May 6: Gleaning workshop
Wednesday, May 8: Demo Day 7: Gleaning project

Please note: Three class periods – February 6, February 11, and April 8 – stretch beyond our regular ending time of 6:25. Please plan, alter, or tweak your schedule so that you can attend and participate fully in these class events. If, however, you cannot stay after 6:25, no problem. You will not be penalized.

Throughout the semester, I will offer extra credit for attending campus and local food-related events and writing a one-page reflection. Some of these events include: Rodrigo Dorfman’s documentary, This Taco Truck Kills Fascists, as part of the SF IndieFest, Roxie Theater, Mission, SF, $13 (Saturday, February 2, 2:45 pm); Berkeley Food Institute’s panel, Hungry for Change: Emerging Food Systems Leaders, Wurster Hall, Room 112, UC Berkeley (Friday, February 8, 5-7 pm; Info and free registration:; The 17th Annual USF Human Rights Film Festival, Presentation Theater, USF (March 21-23, 2019); and USF’s 10th Annual Social Justice Seder, Fromm Hall, Maraschi Room, USF (Tuesday, April 9, 6:30 pm).

There is no final in this class.

Attendance Policy
Attendance is crucial. Missing class (or attending class unprepared) will significantly affect your final grade. If you do miss class, contact a classmate to find out what you missed and ask to borrow her or his notes. Then, do it again with a different classmate. If after doing this you still have questions, email me. Please note that missing a Demo Day is brutal. You lose 10 points or an entire grade. Don’t do it!

Academic Integrity
Plagiarism is using another person’s words, works, and/or ideas without giving appropriate credit. Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic honor and personal integrity and can result in failing an assignment, being removed from this course, or even being asked to leave USF. Plus, it’s just lazy.

10% Demo Day 1: Everything I ate and drank yesterday project
10% Demo Day 2: Food celebrity/food media project
10% Demo Day 3: Food store project
10% Demo Day 4: Food heritage project
10% Demo Day 5: Community dinner storytell project
10% Demo Day 6: Food Activism display in Gleeson Library
10% Demo Day 7: Gleaning project
30% Class Participation (which includes quizzes, homework, and most importantly listening, contributing, and participating in class and on Demo Days)                            
Note: If at any point you wish to discuss your grade, please set up a face-to-face meeting with me, preferably earlier rather than later in the semester.

1. In class and on field trips, no drinking out of non-reusable containers.
2. During the first day of class we will discuss and agree upon further class rules. We may even decide to eliminate rule #1.

Monday, January 14, 2019


gone: Raj Shah, White House principal deputy press secretary, resigned.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Tuesday, January 01, 2019


gone: Dana W. White, Defense Department's top spokeswoman, resigned.