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Graduate Collaborative Specialization

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Canada's First Graduate-Level 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.

Supporting Units: Culinaria Research Centre

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

PLEASE SEE THE MENUS BELOW FOR DETAILED APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS & ELECTIVES

 

AT-A-GLANCE

Participating Departments

Application

Process *

Requirements**

Core Courses

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

Rolling deadlines

Apply after receiving letter of acceptance to home department

Fill application form & get signatures from home department

Assemble documents (writing sample, CV, letter of acceptance from home department)

Submit application & documents to food-studies@utsc.utoronto.ca and cc culinaria.utsc@utoronto.ca

Culinaria will request letters of recommendation on your behalf

Fulfill all requirements of home department and Collaborative Specialization

A combination of core courses and/or food studies-focused thesis project approved by CSFS Program Committee

Regular attendance of Culinaria Seminar Series

FST 1000H Comparative Research Methods in Food Studies Fall 2021 (Prof. J. Pilcher) This course introduces key multidisciplinary methods in the study of food, its global food production, distribution, and consumption systems, and the ways that food shapes personal and collective identities of race, class, gender, and nation. 

 

FST 2000H Food, Culture, and Society Winter 2022 (Prof. J. Sharma) This course introduces students to recent scholarship on the place of food in the study of culture, politics, and society. Specific topics have included food and equity; the political economy of food; food and migration; and gender and food.

*Please check drop-down menus to ensure you apply based on your degree type

**Please check drop-down menus for specific and detailed information about the requirements based on degree type and home department

 

 

Collaborative Specialization Requirements by Degree Type

MASTER'S LEVEL

General: Please apply to Culinaria’s Collaborative Specialization in Food Studies after you have received a letter of offer from your home department. You must meet the admission requirements of both the home graduate unit and the Collaborative Specialization to apply.

Please note that students who complete the CSFS at the MA level are eligable for the program at the doctoral level but will be required to take an additional "topics" course (details below).

Experience in a food-related field (practical, scholarly, or policy/political/social service) an asset.

Steps:

  1. Complete the Application Form. This will require a signature from your home department’s Graduate Coordinator, which you can obtain by contacting your Graduate Administrator.
  2. Compile your documents:
    1. Curriculum Vitae
    2. Letter of acceptance from your home department
    3. A research paper (max. 30 pages) submitted to the home degree or is focused on food studies.
  3. Submit your application and documents to food-studies@utsc.utoronto.ca and cc Director Dan Bender culinaria.utsc@utoronto.ca. Culinaria will request your letters of recommendation from your home department on your behalf upon receipt of application and documents

 

DEPARTMENT-SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS

MA Anthropology

MA East Asian Studies (Thesis Option)

MA/MSc Geography

MA History

MSc Nutritional Sciences

MA 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.

Collaborative specialization courses may be taken as electives for the purpose of satisfying home program requirements.

 

Students must meet the following specialization requirements:

  1. 0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE) seminar: FST 1000H Comparative Research Methods in Food Studies
  2. Participate regularly and actively in the Culinaria Seminar Series SRM 3333H
  3. The major research paper or thesis in the participating degree program will be on a topic in food studies, approved by the Program Committee of the Collaborative Specialization in Food Studies

MA East Asian Studies (Coursework-Only Option)

 

MA 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.

Collaborative specialization courses may be taken as electives for the purpose of satisfying home program requirements.

 

Students must meet the following specialization requirements:

  1. 0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE) seminar: FST 1000H Comparative Research Methods in Food Studies
  2. 1.0 FCE electives related to food studies
  3. Participate regularly and actively in the Culinaria Seminar Series SRM 3333H

 

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.

Collaborative specialization courses may be taken as electives for the purpose of satisfying home program requirements.

 

Students must meet the following specialization requirements:

  1. 0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE) seminar: FST 1000H Comparative Research Methods in Food Studies
  2. 0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE) practicum: INF 2173H (taken in an area related to food studies)
  3. 1.5 FCE electives related to food studies
  4. Participate regularly and actively in the Culinaria Seminar Series SRM 3333H

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.

Collaborative specialization courses may be taken as electives for the purpose of satisfying home program requirements.

 

Students must meet the following specialization requirements:

  1. 0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE) seminar: FST 1000H Comparative Research Methods in Food Studies
  2. 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
  1. Participate regularly and actively in the Culinaria Seminar Series SRM 3333H

 

   

 

 

DOCTORAL LEVEL

General: Please apply to Culinaria’s Collaborative Specialization in Food Studies after you have received a letter of offer from your home department. You must meet the admission requirements of both the home graduate unit and the Collaborative Specialization to apply.

Please note that students who complete the CSFS at the MA level are eligable for the program at the doctoral level but will be required to take an additional "topics" course (details below).

Experience in a food-related field (practical, scholarly, or policy/political/social service) an asset.

Steps:

  1. Complete the Application Form. This will require a signature from your home department’s Graduate Coordinator, which you can obtain by contacting your Graduate Administrator.
  2. Compile your documents:
    1. Curriculum Vitae
    2. Letter of acceptance from your home department
    3. A research paper (max. 30 pages) submitted to the home degree or is focused on food studies.
    4. IF YOU ARE A CURRENT GRADUATE STUDENT--Please submit a MA-level research project paper or thesis specializing in food studies in place of the 30-page writing sample
  3. Submit your application and documents to food-studies@utsc.utoronto.ca and cc Director Dan Bender culinaria.utsc@utoronto.ca. Culinaria will request your letters of recommendation from your home department on your behalf upon receipt of application and documents.

 

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.

Collaborative Specialization courses may be taken as electives for the purpose of satisfying home program requirements.

 

Students must complete the following requirements:

  1. 0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE) seminar: FST1000H Comparative Research Methods in Food Studies. Students who have completed the CSFS at the MA level are exempt.
  2. 0.5 FCE topics course: FST2000H Food, Culture, and Society (course theme decided annually by CSFS Program Committee)
  3. Participate regularly and actively in the Culinaria Seminar Series SRD444H
  4. Student’s dissertation in home department must be on a topic in food studies, approved by the CSFS Program Committee

 

Elective Courses

Elective Courses

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.

Collaborative Specialization in Food Studies FAQs

How will this specialization benefit my career?

The Collaborative Specialization in Food Studies draws on the tools and techniques of several different disciplines. Beyond broadening your intellectual perspective it also teaches interdisciplinary critical thinking and analytical methods that make you an even more competitive candidate in both academic and non-academic job searches. This addition to your degree will demonstrate to future employers your ability to think across areas of expertise and synthesize information.

How large are classes?

Class size varies, ranging from very small to medium depending on the term. This range is because students enter and complete the Collaborative Specialization at different points in their graduate careers. However, even in the larger classes individual students have an abundance of opportunities to participate in the discussions. 

What is the course load like?

As a graduate-level program, students will attend regular seminar-style and discussion-based meetings. Each week will include a discussion of the assigned readings and often students are expected to lead one of the seminars during the term. Readings may be comprised of several articles or a book-length project every week and students are expected to come to each seminar having read and thought about the materials. Some courses may involve additional weekly reports and in general students will be expected to produce the equivalent of an article-length (25-30 page) project at the end of the term.

What kind of writing sample should I include in my application packet?

The writing sample should be no more than 30 pages long and ideally no shorter than 10 pages long. It can be a piece that was submitted to your home department or something that was written in an upper-year seminar course (undergraduate) or within the context of a graduate-level course. It should demonstrate your writing abilities and interest in food and Food Studies.

Who is the primary contact for all materials and questions?

Please send all application & reference materials to food-studies@utsc.utoronto.ca & cc Culinaria (email below).

All inquiries should be sent via email to the Culinaria Research Centre office email: culinaria.utsc@utoronto.ca.

The office can also be reached by telephone at 416-208-8175 or in person at SW 313. *Please note that in-person visits are currently on hold due to the pandemic. At this time, email is preferred.*

When can I apply to the program?

Registration to the Collaborative program in Food Studies is on a rolling basis.

Students must have proof of acceptance to a graduate-level program in any of the disciplines affiliated with Culinaria and participating in the program. Check to ensure that your home department is a registered participant.