851-0003-00L  Science and Food in the Development of the Modern World (1890s–1970s)

SemesterSpring Semester 2020
LecturersS. G. Sujeet George
Periodicitynon-recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


851-0003-00 SScience and Food in the Development of the Modern World (1890s–1970s)14s hrs
Wed/2w10:15-12:00ETZ E 7 »
S. G. Sujeet George

Catalogue data

AbstractThis seminar course aims to offer a historical perspective on the development of modern food systems, agrarian science and global cultures of taste and eating.
ObjectiveTo understand the links between science and modern food cultures; evaluate the global connections in the formation of national cuisines; analyze how science and the food industry have shaped people’s ideas of taste, nutrition and aesthetics.
ContentLooking at specific food and non-food commodities cultivated, developed and consumed across different regions in the world through the late 19th and 20th centuries, the course shall try to make sense of the aesthetic, economic and scientific assumptions inherent within the varied food palettes of our modern world. The course shall introduce students to the interlinked and overlapping histories of the development of modern agricultural science, the political economy of food production, distribution and consumption, and ideas of culinary aesthetics and national cuisines.

Students shall engage with the histories and debates around agricultural research, ideas of nutrition and hunger, questions of race, diversity and community belonging, and the troubled narratives of environment and sustainability in industrial agriculture. The course will utilize a combination of historical pamphlets and advertisements, newspaper accounts, as well as contemporary documentary films to engage with some of the core questions around the modern history of food cultures and agrarian science.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits2 credits
ExaminersS. G. Sujeet George
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examinationThe course will require a reading of around 15-20 pages and small tasks that have to be completed before every class. The final grade will be based on the grades of some of these tasks together with a short final term paper to be submitted after the completion of the course. Presence in class is expected, and active contribution to class discussions may be taken into consideration in the final grade.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


Places20 at the most
Waiting listuntil 06.03.2020

Offered in

Doctoral Department of Humanities, Social and Political SciencesDoctoral and Post-Doctoral CoursesWInformation
GESS Science in PerspectiveHistoryWInformation
GESS Science in PerspectiveD-USYSWInformation
History and Philosophy of Knowledge MasterSeminarsWInformation