In addition to the readings below, you may also choose for your midterm summary assignment any chapter from:  Counihan, Carole, and Penny Van Esterik, eds. 2013. Food and Culture: A Reader. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge.


Identity and difference

Meaning and interpretation

  • Douglas, Mary. 1972. “Deciphering a Meal.” Daedalus 101 (1, Myth, Symbol, and Culture): 61–81.
  • Meneley, Anne. 2007. “Like an Extra Virgin.” American Anthropologist 109 (4): 678–87.
  • Pratt, Jeff. 2007. “Food Values: The Local and the Authentic.” Critique of Anthropology 27 (3): 285–300.
  • Weiss, Brad. 2014. “In Tastes, Lost and Found: Remembering the Real Flavor of Fat Pork.” In Fat: Culture and Materiality, edited by Christopher E. Forth and Alison Leitch, 33–51. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
  • West, Harry G. 2016. “Artisanal Foods and the Cultural Economy: Perspectives on Craft, Heritage, Authenticity and Reconnection.” In The Handbook of Food and Anthropology, edited by Jakob A. Klein and James L. Watson, 406–34. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Food chains, value, and capital

  • Benson, Peter, and Edward F. Fischer. 2007. “Broccoli and Desire.” Antipode 39 (5): 800–820.
  • Ficek, Rosa E. 2019. “Cattle, Capital, Colonization: Tracking Creatures of the Anthropocene in and out of Human Projects.” Current Anthropology 60 (S20): S260–71.
  • Foster, Robert J. 2008. “Qualifying Products: Trademarks, Brands, and Value Creation.” In Coca-Globalization: Following Soft Drinks from New York to New Guinea, 75–97. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Gaudio, Rudolph P. 2003. “Coffeetalk: StarbucksTM and the Commercialization of Casual Conversation.” Language in Society 32 (5): 659–91.
  • Mintz, Sidney W. 2013. “Time, Sugar, and Sweetness.” In Food and Culture: A Reader, edited by Carole Counihan and Penny Van Esterik, 3rd ed., 91–103. New York: Routledge.
  • Peekhaus, Wilhelm. 2011. “Primitive Accumulation and Enclosure of the Commons: Genetically Engineered Seeds and Canadian Jurisprudence.” Science & Society 75 (4): 529–54.
  • Specht, Joshua. 2019. “Introduction.” In Red Meat Republic: A Hoof-to-Table History of How Beef Changed America, 1–20. Histories of Economic Life. Princeton: Princeton University Press.


  • Joassart-Marcelli, Pascale, and Fernando J. Bosco. 2014. “Alternative Food Projects, Localization and Neoliberal Urban Development: Farmers’ Markets in Southern California.” Métropoles, no. 15 (December).
  • Lombard, Carol G., and Theodorus Du Plessis. 2016. “Beyond the Branding Iron: Cattle Brands as Heritage Place Names in the State of Montana.” Names 64 (4): 224–33.
  • Marte, Lidia. 2011. “Afro-Diasporic Seasonings: Food Routes and Dominican Place-Making in New York City.” Food, Culture & Society 14 (2): 181–204.
  • Paxson, Heather. 2010. “Locating Value in Artisan Cheese: Reverse Engineering Terroir for New-World Landscapes.” American Anthropologist 112 (3): 444–57.
  • Weiss, Brad. 2011. “Making Pigs Local: Discerning the Sensory Character of Place.” Cultural Anthropology 26 (3): 438–61.

Borders, (in)security, and justice

The politics of food