The quarry of the anthropologist?the deep social patterns and cultural meanings that shape human existence?are often disguised, out of sight, or behind the curtain of the world as it appears before us. In seeking a vantage point from which one might glimpse these phenomena, this course follows a well-beaten anthropological path: beginning with a commonplace, everyday practice, students work outward in scope and backward in time, constructing an informed, analytic, and critical perspective on human society and culture through the seemingly pedestrian substance of food. The course is organized in two segments. In the first portion of the semester, students engage a set of readings intended to provide an introduction to the multiple research agendas that characterize the burgeoning scholarship on food and eating. In the second segment of the course, students delineate a conversation in that scholarship that they wish to join, and deploy an independent research project of their own design that triangulates between existing scholarship and ethnographic data they collect. Affiliate department: Sociology and Anthropology.