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Center for Food Studies

Bard College at Simon’s Rock launched the Center for Food Studies in 2013 to advance the community’s knowledge of food as a cultural force and awareness of our responsibilities as stewards of a sustainable food system.

The Center's educational mission will promote an understanding of the world around us by providing a forum for collaboration, communication, and learning across a variety of food realms by:

  • offering for credit courses within existing Simon's Rock programs;
  • collaborating with community partners to sponsor lectures, conferences, and other educational events on campus and across the region;
  • creating opportunities for students and local organizations to benefit from internships and other work/study arrangements;
  • presenting noncredit workshops for personal and professional education; and
  • partnering creatively on and off campus to develop awareness of critical issues related to food, leading to productive connections and action.


A Food Studies concentration can help you expand your academic potential and follow your passions, ultimately leading to a rewarding career. Everyone eats; the study of how and what we eat crosses into nearly every discipline. Food Studies makes an ideal bridge between STEM fields and social studies, law, or creative pursuits, giving students opportunities to change the world by putting their ideas to work in sustainability, food justice, public health, and more. Coursework in Food Studies can round out your academic portfolio by expanding your fields of expertise, or can help you pursue a novel interest like cheesemaking or beekeeping. A second concentration in Food Studies can help you take your undergraduate liberal arts education from Simon’s Rock and go far. Our first Food Studies graduate is working toward a Master’s degree in Critical Animal Studies at Brock University. The website Good Food Jobs connects Food Studies graduates with meaningful work for careers as diverse as food artisans, economists, policy makers, and environmental educators. See the possibilities at Good Food Jobs.

Events

The annual ThinkFOOD Conference brings together farmers, educators, and entrepreneurs for lively discussions of interdisciplinary topics. Recent conferences have focused on food activism, regional food culture, and the future of farming. In addition to the conference, The Center for Food Studies sponsors lectures, panels, films, and workshops. 

Self-designed concentration in Food Studies

Mo Constantine and Maryann TebbenThe Center for Food Studies is expanding all the time and we are working toward a formal concentration in the BA Program. In the meantime, students may self-design a second concentration in Food Studies in conjunction with an established concentration. Food Studies is easily paired with Cross-Cultural Relations, Creative Writing, Social Action/Social Change, or Political Studies, for example. See a sample curriculum .

Students interested in this concentration can spend a semester at the Umbra Institute’s Center for Food & Sustainability Studies in the central Italian city of Perugia. Students will have the opportunity to take courses with community-engaged components, with community-engaged components, work on independent research, and do credit-bearing internships. See the program brochure .

Meet Mo Constantine '14, the first student with a self-designed concentration in Food Studies.

Featured Courses

Offered every semester:

  • ENVS 107M Introduction to Agroecology
  • ENVS 110M Sweet History: The science and story of maple sugaring
  • ENVS 112M Apiculture

Offered every year or in alternate years:

  • BIO 173 All About Food
  • ENVS 208 Ecology of Closed-Loop Food Systems 
  • ENVS 304 Topics in Environmental Management: Climate & Society
  • FREN 216 French Food, Culture, and Literature
  • GEOG 213 Global Political Ecologies
  • GEOG 215 The Agricultural World: Land, Food, Sustainability

Faculty Profile

Maryann Tebben in office

Teaching at the Intersection of Food, Culture, and Community.

Maryann Tebben

Professor of French/Francophone and Food Studies

Related Areas of Study