Friday, January 19, 2018

Not Teaching Dirt.

The time has come when the soil blog necessarily becomes a place to do some sharing of classroom work.

So let me tell you a story.

Last semester I was planning my spring course. I wanted it to be about Dirt. (You only get three guesses as to why.)

At the same time I was having conversations with people here at Georgia Tech about how I was dreaming of a pie in the sky, food studies program, here. In a meeting where I shared such wishes, the topic of my spring course came up. To the point of, ‘if food studies and rhetoric is what you want to ultimately teach, why aren't you really doing it now?’

I didn’t have a good answer, so I switched topics (sorry students). I went from “The Rhetoric and Poetics of Dirt,” to “Food Literacy in Atlanta.”

As I was designing the course, a sound byte from teaching orientation stuck with me. Something like, “We want our teachers making brave choices in the classroom. Be brave. Be Bold. And then ask yourself if that is as brave as you can be.”

So I went to Kroger and bought a big box of bravery, and the spread above is the result. And then.

I tweeted this picture, with the course topic. I’m not going to say it went viral, but 99 likes is a big deal for me.

More importantly, some pretty rockstar scholars reached out to me, and offered many forms of academic kindness. #souphound doesn't name drop, but you can get the idea.

Other people asked for the reading list. I’ve been slow, but here we go! Here is the shell, basics, and reading list (kinda) of my class ENG 1102, “Food Literacy in Atlanta!” (Syllabus in full is still looking for a home).

Find me via email, here, or twitter if I can answer any questions!
(and my pup is found under #bookselfies with #souphound)

In the past decade Atlanta has undergone phenomenal changes in infrastructure, and food culture because of two things: being a beta-hub in the tech industry, and tax credits that have cultivated a thriving film industry. This influx of people, money, and innovation, restaurant culture has seen tremendous growth. This Serve Learn Sustain (SLS) course encourages students to learn the story of Atlanta through its food history. We move through four units: “Resources,” “Mapping Recipes,” “Food Deserts/Swamps,” and “Food Taxonomy and Lexicons.”
This course pairs with community engaged partners to pursue SLS Big Ideas. Through an organizational logic of sustainability, and community, we focus on the role of food systems thinking, and food justice, in food literacy. This course hopes to draw together guest speakers from SLS partners (such as Mario Cambardella, the Urban Agriculture Director for the Office of Resilience in the City of Atlanta). Moreover, this course is affiliated with the Poetry@Tech events, and those poets’ works (Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Christopher Collins, Bruce McEverStuart, Dischell, David Bottoms, and Tarfia Faizullah).
For these units, students will use a shared vocabulary for discussing the written, oral, visual, electronic and nonverbal modes of communication, by using a wide selection of sources, and community engaged projects. This approach (as emphasized in WOVENtext) gives us a framework for identifying and practicing these skills as we interact with the course readings, and on campus events. WOVENtext provides methods for analyzing our readings and course materials. There will also be exploratory and multimodal work for each unit in the course—inspired by the many different modalities reflected in the primary and secondary readings. Last, but not least, students are encouraged to attend Poetry@Tech readings, and community events.

                                                          Reading & Work Schedule                                                           

Week 1               Introductions; Common Video                                                  
                             -Review syllabus on Canvas, Doodle Poll for office hours
(GaTech specific)
Create an individual video (60-90 seconds) in which you articulate a challenge relating to one of the WOVEN modes (written, oral, visual, electronic, or nonverbal communication) specific to this semester’s class projects. Assignment due as a youtube link uploaded to canvas.
Students are strongly advised to make use of library resources (like the gadget library) and/or the four studios in the communications building.
                                                                        -Readings from our composition text
-Read this (short) essay, “Food Swamps Are the New Food Deserts”:

Week 2                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                        -First Week Videos Due
                                                                        -Essays from Wendell Berry* (* means “on course management system”)
                                                                       -Selection from Rural Literacies*
-Familiarize yourself with the following website:
-Presentation and Tasking: Guest Speaker Mario Cambardella (Urban Ag / Mayoral office)

Week 3               Resource Infographic                                                                                                                       
                                                                        -Visit From Resource Librarian  
-Selection from The Archaeology and History of the Native
Georgia Tribes*
-Infographic assigned
                                                                        - Readings from our composition text
                                                                       -Selection From The Cooking Gene*
Week 4                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                       -Selection from On The Rim of The Caribbean*
                                                                        -In Class Workshop
-Readings from our composition text
                                                                        -Infographic Due  
-Project 1 Assigned

Week 5                             Project 1: Recipe Map                                                                                                    
                                                                        -Selections from Aimee Nezhukumatathil*
                                                                        -Readings from our composition text
                                                                        -Selections from The Potlikker Papers*

Week 6               (Skype with Julia Turshen)                                                    
                                                                        -Selections from Bruce McEver*
                                                                        -Q & A lesson/prep for talk with Julia Turshen

                                                                        -Feed The Resistance (p 1-51)
-In Class Workshop
-Skype Q & A with Julia Turshen!
-Feed The Resistance (p 52-105)
-In Class Workshop
-Readings from our composition text

Week 7                             Project 2: Food Deserts                                                                                                  
-Project 1 Due
-Selections from Christopher Collins*  
-Project 2 Assigned
-Readings from our composition text
-Selection from Spaces of Global Capitalism*
-Workshop in Class
Th 2/22 Poetry@tech event 7:30 PM Kress Auditorium

                                                                        -“Pedagogy of The Oppressed”*
-Feed The Resistance (p 108-143)

Week 8                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                        -Selections from Atlanta Rising*
                                                                        -Selection from White Flight*
                                                                        -Workshop in Class
Week 9                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                        -Workshop in Class
                                                                        -Presentations to, and Assessment by Mario Cambardella
                                                                        -Proposal/action plan for this week’s revisions  (based on
              feedback from 3/7)
Week 10                           Revisions    /   Project 3: Food Lexicon Podcast                                                           
                                                                        -Visit from Charlie Bennet (date subject to change)
                                                                        -Selections from The Age of Wire and String (“Food”)*
                                                                        -Project 3 Assigned
Week 11             No Classes (spring break)                                                                                                                

Week 12             Project 3: Food Lexicon Podcast                                                                                                   
                                                                       -Introduce “Gravy” (From the Southern Foodways Alliance)
- In class workshop
                                                                        -Readings from our composition text
                                                                        -White Papers/Food Alliance documents*                                                                                                 -Readings from our composition text
Week 13                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                        -Selections from Tarfia Faizullah*
                                                                        -In Class Workshop
                                           -Revisions of Project 2 Due: Presentations in Class
Week 14                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                        -Selections from David Bottoms*
-In Class Workshop
                                                                        -Selections from Stuart Dischell*              
-In Class Workshop

              Th 4/12 Poetry@tech event 7:30 Kress Auditorium

                                                                        -Project 3: Lexicon Due
Week 15             Portfolio/Revisions                                                                                                                           
              -in class work on portfolios
Week 16                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                        -play apples to apples (I have a method)

Description of Projects
Common First Week Assignment                                                                
Create an individual video (60-90 seconds) in which you articulate a challenge relating to one of the WOVEN modes (written, oral, visual, electronic, or nonverbal communication) specific to this semester’s class projects.
Resource Infographic                                                                                       
1: Recipe Map                                                                        
Students will work in small groups (determined by instructor) to create a map of an Atlanta-specific food or drink. Groups will submit a proposal for approval, create the multimodal artifact, write a statement of contribution, and present the artifact to the class.
2: Food Deserts in Atlanta                                                               
Students will work in groups to create a multimodal solution to either food deserts or food swaps in Atlanta. Groups will submit a proposal for approval, create the multimodal artifact, and write individual reflections. Ultimately, these projects will be presented to the class and Mario Cambardella (the Urban Ag Director of the Mayoral office). Mr. Cambardella will be present to provide feedback on presentations, with which students can use for the final draft of their artifacts.

3: Lexicon         (Podcast)                                                                  

Students will work in small groups (determined by instructor) to create podcasts in response to currently existing food lexicons in Atlanta. Groups will submit a proposal for approval, create the multimodal artifact, write both a statement of contribution and an artist’s statement. The combined lexicons will come together as whole class project.  

That's all, folks! #souphound says to go wiggle, because it's Friday and we should always wiggle. 

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