Chatham University

Master of Arts in Food Studies (MAFS)

Current Course Offerings
(Fall 2013)

COM515 Environmental Communications

Course offers an overview of environmental communications providing an analysis of how individuals, institutions and corporations describe and portray our interactions with the environment. Discussion topics include environmental discourse, environmental conflicts, risk communication, environmental disasters, environmental social movements, and the nature-society relationship.

ENG532 Readings in Fiction

This course is a graduate seminar focusing on the close reading of important novels and stories drawn primarily from the modern and comtemporary periods. Designed to complement the fiction workshop, this course is required of all MFA students specializing in writing fiction.

FST505 Food and Representations

Food is elemental to survival, culture, home, and subjectivity - to rituals of love, oloss, and celebration. Focusing on representations of food and eating in spiritual narratives, epic texts, myth, novels, and film, this class examines the cultural work food performs along with the varying meanings assigned to food and eating.

FST508 Food Systems

Examines philosophical, sociological, econcomic, and cultural issues related to the production and consumption of food. From Agrarianism to the Green Revolution, explores the transformations of industrialization, technology, and migration. Provides foundation in food systems and commodity chains as concepts and methodological tools for uncovering the relationship between communities, agriculture, markets, and consumers.

FST509 Food Access

If food is a basic human right, how do societies create universal access to food? What is the moral ethical basis for making citizens food secure in an age of global inequality? To what extent does providing food access need to consider culturally appropriateness, nutrition, and sustainability, and justice?

FST512 Practical Nutrition

Course provides an overview of nutrition as an evidence-based research field, focusing on groups and communities where research is conducted and then applied. Topics include science and politics of food categories; supplements and functional foods; weight and disordered eating, commercial, local, organic, and conventional foods; cuisine, culture, and diet.

FST518 Business of Food and Agriculture

In this class the student will learn both history and current practices related to food and agriculture as economic enterprises in the United States and the world. Skills include ability to understand strategic management principles including identifying target markets, niche marketing, SWOT analysis and diffusion of innovation theory. Students will be able to develop a business plan including understanding barriers of entry, compiling demographic data, developing feasibility studies, long and short term business goals, define and calculate a breakeven point, and budget formulation.

FST606 The Politics of Grains

This course uses grains such as wheat, oats, rice, and corn as a lens to explore how a wide range of factors including history, land use, crop development, human nutrition, food processing, sensory evaluation, and socio-economics shape how grains are grown, harvested and ultimately transformed into bread and other consumables.

FST609 Dairy: From Pasture to Plate

This multi-disciplinary graduate course examines a range of agro-ecological, philosophical, socio-economic, health, and political issues related to dairy production in the US. Key course themes include: dairy history; sustainable and conventional production; raw milk and consumption debates; livestock care; milking; cheese-making; dairy policy; international issues; and popular representation of dairy.

FST610 Culture and Politics of Meat

Meat is one of the most prized and problematic aspects of our food system. It is one of the key issues in environmental degradation through agriculture, but it is also the most celebrated component of new sustainable food initiatives. Large scale meat consumption can signal either a rise or decline in overall global health. This course will examine the culture, politics, history, and contemporary debates about the production and consumption of animals by humans.

FST614 New Product Development

This course will explore the new product development process from ideation to market. Students will study the methodologies and practices of product development in a traditional Consumer Packaged Good firm and apply modified methods to manage the new product development process for a start-up local distiller. Over the course of an academic year, students will develop and bring to market a liqueur to be sold by Pittsburgh Distilling Co.

FST615 Food, Labor, and Inequality

In this course, we will focus on theoretical and applied frameworks for thinking about the labor of growing food, transporting it, transforming it into comestibles, and finally, serving and cleaning related to food consumption. The course considers how global labor shapes the availability and appropriateness of food for different populations and therefore includes a substantial analysis of gender, race, and social class. Readings and discussion will touch on migrant labor, domestic cooking, waiting and serving, agriculture, cooks and chefs, and food professionals.

FST620 Research in Food and Agriculture

This course assists students developing a research, educational, public policy, or advocacy project in sustainable farming. Participants study a practical and current sustainable food and/or farming problem, review the literature related to the problem, develop management tactics and strategies to address the problem, and communicate their conclusions. Goal is to develop a research plan and project outcomes for a Masters thesis or project.

FST683 Special Topics

FST691 Internship

Internship placement will focus on local nonprofits, advocacy group, community projects, food companies, farms, co-ops, food producers, and policy agencies. Directed experience can include developing products, community knowledge, food system data, or promotional materials.

FST692 Internship

Internship placement will focus on local nonprofits, advocacy group, community projects, food companies, farms, co-ops, food producers, and policy agencies. Directed experience can include developing products, community knowledge, food system data, or promotional materials.

FST698 Thesis/Project

Course provides supervision and research guidance for Master‘s thesis or projects in Food Studies. Students will have instruction in data analysis, writing for public presentation and publication, professional development workshops, and community development issues.

SUS622 Engaging Animals

This course considers human-other animal engagements and how these affect sustainability. We first make sense of what "engaging animals" means, focusing on human-animal relations at different scales and levels cross-culturally, and then consider the impact on sustainability. We end with a student-led symposium on a specific human-animal relationship in relation to sustainability.