Nostalgia for Origins in a Fast Food Culture: Teaching with the Food Memories of Carolina College Women

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This paper describes an active learning exercise encouraging student researchers to analyze food-related memories in a religious studies classroom. Inspired by the interactive methods of Deborah Lupton, students were asked to record a personal narrative about food and then to examine the writings of their classmates. In particular, they looked for cosmologies, or origin stories that orient people between the sacred and the profane, like the apple in the Garden of Eden. Student researchers perceptively discussed how food mediated family relationships, generational conflicts, and insecurities about dietary change. Their narratives often contrasted the sacred time of home-cooked holiday meals with the profane commercial world of fast food. The paper concludes with a poignant student poem capturing visceral memories of food, culture, and society in the modern-day South.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2012

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