Writing Food Memoirs

Full Course Title: 
Even Better Than Sliced Bread: Writing Food Memoirs

An interdisciplinary, participatory UDL (Universal Design for Learning) based course, encouraging students to explore personal identities and create a new worldview based on food memories, ethnographic encounters, and food studies. This course was designed to cultivate an inquiry into food by savoring the delicacies of memories, where food, home, family, community, and culture intersect. Class periods will consist of food memory narrative tasks, peer review, discussion, and presentation. Modeling the “flipped” course pedagogy, readings are assigned for homework a week before. Many homework activities involve hands-on food encounters that may carry over into class demonstrations. Group presentations are the spice of this course and therefore used liberally. This course draws on personal reflection as well as independent research to cultivate individuality and unique tastes. Inclusion driven, students aren’t required to “cook,” however sharing of material artifacts and food experiences are encouraged. 

In this course, students will expand their knowledge of both food studies and expository writing. Through a culinary lens students will learn how to write food related stories that foster research and information literacy competencies through multi-disciplines such as history, sociology, chemistry, psychology, geography, and/or botony. creating a time capsule of food knowledge, combined with a sprinkling of flavorful memories and new information, adding a dash of food photography, then stirring gently to create a unique flavor memory journal that creates connections and engages each of the senses.

Course Details
Course Number: 
Section Number(s) and Day/Times Taught: 
183: TR 2:00-3:15pm
Spring 2024
The Arts

Joan Brook

Joan Brook

Joan Brook is an Adjunct Instructor at Appalachian State University.   She holds two Master's degrees in education; the first, an MA in Special Education from NTSU,  and the second, an MA in Teaching Biological Sciences from Miami University.  Joan has almost two decades as a teacher in elementary and middle grade classrooms.  At Appalachian State University she has taught in the Commercial Photography Department in the College of Fine and Applied Arts , as well as in the College of Education.  During COVID, Joan found her passion in cooking, searching for old family recipes through her personal library of cookbooks collected over the years. In doing so, Joan began taking notes, substituting ingredients and shopping as much as she could from local farmers. The two-year results of this "hobby" was the impetus for this new First Year Seminar course: "Better Than Sliced Bread: Writing Food Memoirs".  In Joan's personal journal, she examines how understanding why we eat what we eat may be the way to identify the importance of food to global culture and customs.