Food Studies in Italy

This program is designed for undergraduate students interested in the relationship between food, gender, and sustainability in the context of Italy. During this short-term program, you spend three weeks traveling in Italy exploring the distribution, production, and consumption of food.  You will participate in local site visits at restaurants, an agritourism farm, food markets, cooking classes, and chocolate factories. You will experience Italian cuisine and the gendered systems that produce it. These culinary experiences will be supplemented with other cultural activities. 

This program is based in Rome and includes travel to Umbria and Napoli. Some of the features of the program include: visit to the Ghetto, visit to Umbria, tour of Perugina factory, visit of Orsini Farm, truffle hunting and fishing workshops, visit to Napoli, Pontere' and sustainable milk production, Vico Pazzariello and traditional food and dance, visit to Castel Sant'Elmo, day-trip to Viterbo and visit to an olive oil farm, community service, cooking classes, guest lectures, and more. 

What You'll Accomplish
As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to:
  • Discuss how gender, history, geography, and the marketplace impact food preferences, ethics, and availability
  • Analyze food ethics and sustainability 
  • Develop awareness of the social, economic and environmental aspects of our global food system, and the various ways in which individuals and societies interact with and experience food
  • Make connections between eating and cultural identities and beliefs
 
Rome, an energetic, fast-paced metropolis with a profusion of fashion, style, music and motorcars, is a city in constant motion with a stunning background of historical architecture and artifacts.
 
Throughout Rome and its neighborhoods, the trappings of modern life flourish beside Etruscan tombs, Imperial temples, early Christian churches, medieval bell towers and Renaissance palaces. Here, contemporary buildings contrast with ancient Roman architecture and the foundations of some modern-day churches trace back nearly two millennia.
 
The juxtaposition of ancient and modern, old and new provides constant visual stimulation and inspires the imagination. If you close your eyes, you can almost hear the roar of the crowd at the ancient gladiator spectacles or imagine yourself as a bystander watching a Roman victory procession into the Forum.
Where You'll Live
You will be housed in apartments situated in the Roman neighborhoods surrounding Roma Tre University within 20-25 minutes walk or commute of the Arcadia Center.
 
You can expect the following in your accommodation:
  • Double or triple rooms 
  • Bedding
  • Shared bathrooms 
  • Shared kitchen 
  • Communal lounge space 
  • Wifi 
  • Laundry service – extra fee
 We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions.
 
What You'll Study
You will take two courses for six credits.
 
If you are seeking to count these courses towards a major, minor or certificate requirement, please meet with your respective advisor to discuss the program and what the courses will fulfill for you. Information about how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found here.
 
 
Anthropology of Food (ANTH1752)
Food is a basic human need; however, beyond biological functions, food also has rich cultural significance. Taste, preference, ritual, tradition, gender, social class, and nationality all influence food choices and behaviors. In addition, economic and environmental factors, globalization, localization, and social movements all affect our access and attitudes toward food. In this course, we will examine how food behaviors are shaped by culture, and what anthropology can offer to the study of food and nutrition.
Politics of Gender and Food (ANTH1716)
Food is sustenance and absolutely essential to life. But food is never simply about nutrition. Because it is fundamental to the human experience, food is also a medium for the expression of culture and social identity. Moreover, food relays complex social messages about gender, sexuality, and family. Consequently, food is also a means for expressing the social and symbolic use of power and control in which social inequalities are expressed in culinary forms. This course will examine food from the vantage point of gendered systems of production, distribution, and consumption as we consider: How does your food come to your table (or not) and what are the political implications of personal tastes? By the end of this course, students will be able to: 1) apply anthropological and feminist theories to food and eating in a cross-cultural perspective; 2) understand how gender, race and class influence our access to and perspective on food; 3) make connections between eating and cultural identities and beliefs; and 4) use writing (and rewriting) as a process for developing understanding, exploring alternative points of view, considering their audience, and entering into an academic conversation.
Politics of Gender and Food  (GSWS1180)

Food is sustenance and absolutely essential to life. But food is never simply about nutrition. Because it is fundamental to the human experience, food is also a medium for the expression of culture and social identity. Moreover, food relays complex social messages about gender, sexuality, and family. Consequently, food is also a means for expressing the social and symbolic use of power and control in which social inequalities are expressed in culinary forms. This course will examine food from the vantage point of gendered systems of production, distribution, and consumption as we consider: How does your food come to your table (or not) and what are the political implications of personal tastes? By the end of this course, students will be able to: 1) apply anthropological and feminist theories to food and eating in a cross-cultural perspective; 2) understand how gender, race and class influence our access to and perspective on food; 3) make connections between eating and cultural identities and beliefs; and 4) use writing (and rewriting) as a process for developing understanding, exploring alternative points of view, considering their audience, and entering into an academic conversation.

The Pitt Study Abroad Office works with the Arcadia Rome Center as the service provider for this program. The Arcadia Center is located on the campus of Universita degli Studi Roma Tre, a convenient and accessible spot in the southern quarter of the city known as Ostiense. Your classes will take place at the Arcadia Center.

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts

Nazir Noori

Salam! I’m Nazir and I'm your Study Abroad Program Manager. I was born and raised abroad and went to schools in Afghanistan, Iran, and the U.S. I also took classes in India and United Arab Emirates. I worked for the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and German Foreign Office for over ten years before moving to Pittsburgh in 2014. At the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, I assisted Afghan students to study in the U.S., and now I'm glad I have the opportunity to help American students study abroad.

Stop by the office during my walk-in hours (Tue, Wed, Thu from 2-4pm) or get in touch with me at nazir.noori@pitt.edu or 412-383-4827 to discuss the study abroad options.

 
 
Your In-Country Contacts

Frayda Cohen

 Frayda Cohen is a Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Adviser for the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program. She is a cultural anthropologist whose research interests are on children and adoption, gender, food, and transnationalism. She has spent several years working in China and was also previously the Director for the summer 6-week study abroad program, Pitt in China. More recently, she has traveled to Italy and is developing a project on emerging Chinese communities in Italy. She regularly teaches courses on gender and food, global feminisms, gendered bodies, and popular culture, and feminist theory. 
 

  In- State Out-of-State
Estimated Expenses Billed by Pitt  $5,499 $5,699
Estimated Additional Expenses 2,800 $2,800
Total Estimated Cost $8,299 $8,499

Final program costs will be available by November 15.

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad. Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

What's Included

As a part of your Food Studies program fee, the following are included:

  • Tuition for 6 credits
  • Shared accommodations through the program
  • Excursions
  • On-site transportation  
  • Class related activities such as tours of markets, chocolate factories, and olive oil productions
  • International travel health insurance
  • Airport transfers
When You'll Go

The program will take place in May 2020. Exact program dates will be posted soon.

 

What Else You Need to Know
  • Please note, coursework begins prior to departure for the program.
  • Due to the nature of the program, the schedule is subject to change. There may be instances where a guest speaker or visit needs to be rescheduled. We ask for your patience and understanding in advance.
  • Remember that this is an intensive summer academic program and that you should expect to invest the same amount of time and effort on your courses abroad as you would on a course at Pitt. 
  • There are required excursions and activities outside of normal scheduled classes.