Collaborative Specialization in Food Studies

Introducing the 'First in Canada' Collaborative Specialization in Food Studies!

Food Studies is an interdisciplinary field dedicated to understanding where our food comes from and how it shapes our bodies and identities. The production and consumption of food has gone through tremendous changes in the past few hundred years. Before industrialization, most food was grown in the place where it was eaten. With the rise of global commodity agriculture, it is often hard to find out exactly what our food is and where it comes from. Then, famine was a constant spectre, whereas today, over-eating has become a significant health problem.

The Graduate Collaborative Specialization in Food Studies introduces students to the multidisciplinary study of food in its social, cultural, and political contexts. Through the teaching of leading researchers in the field, this specialization emphasizes a broad-based approach to the study of food, from agriculture and food industries to production, cuisines, and consumption, highlighting key questions in the study of food; particular attention will be given to the material nature of food, the way it tastes and smells, and the changes it undergoes through natural decomposition and through the human intervention of preservation and cooking. 

This Specialization is designed to convey the importance of food in religion, society, the family, gender roles, the environment, agriculture, urbanization, immigration, colonialism, and race and ethnicity: It will leverage the University’s urban location and its proximity to Canada’s agricultural heartland to broaden students’ experience. The study of food provides both theoretical understanding and practical knowledge for professional careers in health care, business, government service, non-governmental organizations, and educational and community programs. This specialization draws on a variety of disciplinary approaches emphasizing different knowledge and skills. 

Upon successful completion of the Master’s or PhD requirements of the home department and the program, students receive the notation “Completed Collaborative Specialization in Food Studies” on their transcript and parchment.

Participating Degree Programs

Anthropology – MA, PhD
East Asian Studies – MA, PhD
Geography and Planning – MA, MSc, PhD
History – MA, PhD
Information – MI
Museum Studies – MMSt
Nutritional Sciences – MSc, PhD
Physical and Environmental Sciences – PhD
Public Health Sciences – PhD
Sociology – MA, PhD

Supporting Units: Culinaria Research Centre

Contact: Collaborative Specialization Director Daniel Bender culinaria@utsc.utoronto.ca

Master's Level

Admission Requirements

  • Meet the admission requirements of both the home graduate unit and the Collaborative Specialization
  • Apply to and be admitted to both the collaborative specialization and a graduate degree program in one of the collaborating departments in a participating master's degree program
  • Some undergraduate experience in food-related coursework is desired

Application Process for the Collaborative Specialization in Food Studies

Complete an Application Form, including the following documentation (excluding the reference letters) and send to food-studies@utsc.utoronto.ca

  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • A research paper (of no more than 30 pages in length) that has been submitted to the home degree, or that is focused on food studies. 
  • Two reference letters that were submitted as part of your graduate program admission application. Please note: Culinaria will request the letters on your behalf from your home graduate department                             

Specialization Requirements: MA in Anthropology; MA in East Asian Studies Thesis Option; MA/MSc in Geography; MA in History; MSc, in Nutritional Sciences; MA in Sociology Research Paper Option; MI Concentration Plus Thesis Option; MI General Pathway Plus Thesis Option

  • Students must meet all respective degree requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and the participating home degree program and the Collaborative Specialization
  • Students must meet the following specialization requirements:
           - 0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE) seminar: FST 1000H Comparative Research Methods in Food Studies
           - Participate regularly and actively in the Culinaria Seminar Series SRM 3333H
           - The major research paper or thesis in the participating degree pogram will be on a topic in food studies, approved by the Program Committee of the Collaborative Specialization in Food Studies
  • Collaborative specialization courses may be taken as electives for the purpose of satisfying home program requirements

Specialization Requirements: MA in East Asian Studies Coursework-Only Option, MA in Sociology Coursework-Only Option

  • Students must meet all respective degree requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and the participating home degree program and the Collaborative Specialization.
  • Students must meet the following specialization requirements:
           - ​​​0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE) seminar: FST 1000H Comparative Research Methods in Food Studies
           - 1.0 FCE FCE electives related to food studies 
           - Participate regularly and actively in the Culinaria Seminar Series SRM 3333H
  • Collaborative specialization courses may be taken as electives for the purpose of satisfying home program requirements

Specialization Requirements: MI Coursework-Only Options

  • Students must meet all respective degree requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and the participating home degree program and the Collaborative Specialization
  • Students must meet the following specialization requirements 
           - 0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE) seminar: FST 1000H Comparative Research Methods in Food Studies
           - 0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE) practicum: INF 2173H (taken in an area related to food studies)
           - 1.5 FCE electives related to food studies
           - Participate regularly and actively in the Culinaria Seminar Series SRM 3333H
  • Collaborative specialization courses may be taken as electives for the purpose of satisfying home program requirements

Specialization Requirements: MMSt Coursework Option

  • Students must meet all respective degree requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and the participating home degree program and the Collaborative Specialization
  • Students must meet the following specialization requirements:
           - ​​​​​​0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE) seminar: FST 1000H Comparative Research Methods in Food Studies
           - 2.0 FCE in a combination of:
                a) 1.0 full-course equivalent (FCE) internship MSL 3000Y in a field related to food studies
                b) 1.0 full-course equivalent (FCE) project MSL 4000Y in a field related to food studies
                c) up to 2.0 FCE electives related to food studies
           - Participate regularly and actively in the Culinaria Seminar Series SRM 3333H
  • Collaborative specialization courses may be taken as electives for the purpose of satisfying home program requirements
     

Doctoral Level

Admission Requirements

  • Meet the admission requirements of both the home graduate unit and the Collaborative Specialization
  • Apply to and be admitted to both the collaborative specialization and a graduate degree program in one of the collaborating departments
  • Experience in a food-related field (either practical, scholarly, or policy/political/social service) is beneficial
  • Students who complete the collaborative specialization at the Master's level will be eligible for the program at the doctoral level, but will be expected to complete an additional ‘topics’ course (see below)

Application Process for the Collaborative Specialization in Food Studies

Complete an Application Form, including the following dicumentatioin (excluding the reference letters) and send to food-studies@utsc.utoronto.ca

  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Two reference letters that were submitted as part of your graduate program admission application. Please note: Culinaria will request the letters on your behalf from your home graduate department                         
  • Specialization in Food Studies a Master’s level research project paper or thesis. 

Specialization Requirements

  • Students must meet all respective degree requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and the participating home degree program and the Collaborative Specialization.
  • Students must complete the following requirements:
           - ​​​​​​0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE) seminar: Students who have not already taken FST 1000H Comparative Research Methods in Food Studies at the master’s level will be required to complete this course. Students who have completed the Collaborative Specialization in Food Studies at the master’s level are exempted from this requirement
           - 0.5 FCE topics course: FST 2000H Food, Culture, and Society; course theme to be decided each year by the Program Committee of the Collaborative Specialization in Food Studies
  • Participate regularly and actively in the Culinaria Seminar Series SRD 4444H
  • The student's dissertation in their home department must be on a topic in food studies, approved by the Program Committee of the Collaborative Specialization in Food Studies
  • Collaborative specialization courses may be taken as electives for the purpose of satisfying home program requirements

At both the Master’s and Doctoral level, students enrolled in the Collaborative Specialization must complete the requirements of the Collaborative Specialization in addition to those requirements for the degree program in their home graduate unit. The Collaborative Specialization Director and/or Program Committee is/are responsible for certifying the completion of the Collaborative Specialization requirements.  The home graduate unit is solely responsible for the approval of the student’s home degree requirements.

Course List

FST 1000H Comparative Research Methods in Food StudiesWinter 2019 Timetable - This course introduces key multidisciplinary methods in the study of food, its production, distribution, and consumption. Uses approaches in the humanities and social sciences to understand the dynamics of the global food system, as well as the ways that food shapes personal and collective identities of race, class, gender, and nation. 

FST 2000H Food, Culture, and Society - This course introduces students to recent scholarship on the place of food in the study of culture, politics, and society. Specific topics will be selected annually, but will bring multidisciplinary focus to topics such as: food and equity; the political economy of food; food and migration; and gender and food.

Elective Courses**

Department of Anthropology
*ANT4039H The Origins and Nature of Early Resource Producing Societies

Department of Geography
*JPG1429H The Political Ecology of Food and Agriculture

Department of History
*HIS1301H History of Food and Drink

Centre for Medieval Studies
*MST1370H From Farm to Market: Social and Economic Transformations in Medieval Europe

Department of Sociology
*SOC6519H Sociology of Food 

Department of Leadership, Higher, and Adult Education
*LHA1197H The Pedagogy of Food

Department of Nutritional Sciences
*NFS1201H Public Health Nutrition
*NFS1212H Regulation of Food Composition, Health Claims and Safety
*NFS1216H Selected Topics in Nutrition
*NFS1218H Recent Advances in Nutritional Sciences

Dalla Lana School of Public Health
*CHL5653H Community Nutrition

*These courses may have prerequisites and enrollment limits. These courses may not be offered every year.
**Students may take courses not listed here with approval of the CS Director.

Classroom

The University of Toronto offers a range of courses of food, across disciplines and campuses.