First Global Neighborhood 'House Dinner' draws enthusiastic crowd

Several hundred students gathered with faculty and staff on Sept. 1 to discuss the intersections food and culture.

Several hundred students from the Global Neighborhood and two dozen faculty and staff members met Sept. 1 to explore the intersections of food and culture while enjoying Cuban cuisine.

The Global Neighborhood schedules a series of house dinners and other events throughout the academic year. The theme for its 2015-16 programming is “Food: The culture, ethics, and politics of eating,” which will be explored through lectures, films, community service and meal discussions.

Nina Namaste from the Department of World Languages and Cultures gave a brief talk about “Food: the other language.” Using advertising and film clips for illustration, Namaste asked the questions: What does food communicate? How does food communicate? After her remarks, faculty and students talked about the wide-ranging implications of food.

Just a few of the topics covered included the socioeconomic symbolism of food, sexual imagery in food advertising, and the use of food as an expression of culture. 

Upcoming dinner speakers will challenge participants to think about food from the perspectives of political science, nonviolence studies and environmental impacts.