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Food and Culture in Vietnam and Cambodia


Hanoi, Vietnam Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam Phnom Penh, Cambodia Summer I, 2020

Vietnam's Halong Bay


In recent years, food writing (reviews, criticism, and history) has increased in popularity. Food is interdisciplinary, immersive, and interactive. Food teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. Writing about food is writing about the self, the body, human invention, and history. There are myriad stories to tell about what we eat, why we eat it, and with whom. In this course, students will explore the intersection of food and Southeast Asian culture through fieldwork: cooking, interviewing, researching, and, of course, dining. We will read food writing by Anthony Bourdain, Andrea Nguyen, Jonathan Gold, and local writers. We will analyze documentaries and television series about food culture and create our own visual stories about our experiences abroad. Students will build a collection of food writing as well as give and receive feedback about their work.

Offers writing instruction for students interested in interdisciplinary study or who wish to explore multiple disciplines. Students practice and reflect on writing in professional, public, and academic genres relevant to their individual experiences and goals. In a workshop setting, offers students an opportunity to evaluate a wide variety of sources and to develop expertise in audience analysis, critical research, peer review, and revision.

Please note: this Dialogue has been cancelled for Summer 1 2020; we hope to offer it again in the future.

In this Dialogue, students will travel to Vietnam and Cambodia to learn about food, Asian culture, and the intersection of the two through fieldwork: eating, cooking, researching, and writing. Students will gain cross-cultural understanding through analyzing food and identity along with developing interdisciplinary research projects and applying that work to their individual fields.

Students will have the opportunity to interact with local street food vendors, farmers, and cooks. They will take a street food tour and cook with a local family. Students will meet with a survivor of Tuol Sleng Prison, collaborate with students from the Royal University of Phnom Penh, and write surrounded by local artists while sipping Vietnamese iced coffee.

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three monks in orange robes holding an umbrella and walking down a sunny street in phnom penh, cambodia

Global Experience Office

Dialogue of Civilizations: Food and Culture in Vietnam and Cambodia

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