Politics 120: History and Politics of Mexican Food

Credits 4
Credit Type
Semester Offered
Not Offered 2024-2025

“Mexican food” is a contested, global category cross-cut with Indigenous, Spanish, African, Middle Eastern, French, German, Filipino, and other influences. It is deeply intertwined with histories of nationalism, transnationalism, revolution, Indigeneity, environmental transformation, internal and external migrations, rural-urban transitions, international politics, identity, culture, and industrialization. In this class, students will explore Mexican food as an entry point to engage with these and other historical and political questions, always in relation to food's central role in constructing and reinforcing categories of race, class, gender, and sexuality. We will examine Mexican food at the level of consumption, production, ecology, and representation in Mexico and beyond. This class combines rigorous analysis of academic texts along with community-based learning. In the community-learning portion of the class, cooking, eating, and discussing Mexican food will deepen and expand students' understanding of the history, politics, and significance of Mexican food, while nurturing relationships between Whitman and Mexican-American communities in Walla Walla. May be elected as History 120.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Power and Equity (PEQ)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Studying the Past (STP)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)