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Grad Programs in Gastronomy


Fay Jai
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Appears that Boston University has killed their Grad Program in Gastronomy. Sad. I wonder if there are any left here in the states?

(My understanding that this was not a culinary school, rather a grad course in the study of food and gastronomy in general)

~Jason

"So, do you want me to compromise your meal for you?" - Waitress at Andy's Diner, Dec 4th, 2004.

The Fat Boy Guzzle --- 1/2 oz each Jack Daniels, Wild Turkey, Southern Comfort, Absolut Citron over ice in a pint glass, squeeze 1/2 a lemon and top with 7-up...Credit to the Bar Manager at the LA Cafe in Hong Kong who created it for me on my hire. Thanks, Byron. Hope you are well!

http://bloatitup.com

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As I thought. (Thanks, btw, Ms. Goodman!)

I really think that this is sad. But, well, that's the market, I guess... :sad:

BTW...Has anybody gone thru the Adelaide program of study? Care to comment on what you thought of it?

Thanks!

~Jason

(edited to add question)

Edited by Fay Jai (log)

"So, do you want me to compromise your meal for you?" - Waitress at Andy's Diner, Dec 4th, 2004.

The Fat Boy Guzzle --- 1/2 oz each Jack Daniels, Wild Turkey, Southern Comfort, Absolut Citron over ice in a pint glass, squeeze 1/2 a lemon and top with 7-up...Credit to the Bar Manager at the LA Cafe in Hong Kong who created it for me on my hire. Thanks, Byron. Hope you are well!

http://bloatitup.com

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NYU has a terrific program (master's and doctorate) in food studies. Website here.

As for Boston, this is the first I hear about the gastronomy program being canceled. Where did you hear that? The program is hosting the next conference of the Association for the Study of Food and Society, and as far as I know, that hasn't been canceled or moved.

If anything, food studies programs are popping up everywhere rather than disappearing, so we are living an incredibly exciting time in the development of food as a scholarly discipline!

Anne E. McBride

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SwissMiss, based on their website, the NYU program is pretty different. Four years ago, when I was looking into attending the Boston program, it was because it was steeped in gastronomy, which to me seemed to emphasize Arts and Humanities. Reading the NYU program. it seems more geared to Science and Business.

My draw to the Boston program was because of the classes in philosophy, food history, sociology, and literature. Those types of classes, at least for me, were far more intriguing than "Weight Management," "International Health & Nutrition Development," or the "Clinical Practice of Dietetics." Not that the NYU program isn't any good, but the Boston program was far more esoteric which is probably why it didn't last and why I found it so exciting.

I'll always regret not going...

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Re: Gastro-Grad Programs

Two others come to mind immediately: the Master's at the University of Bologna, and the program at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in the Piedmont, created by SlowFood.

There is also, I believe, a program at the University of Barcelona, as well as a relatively new Masters/Doctorate program in Gastronomy in the Anthro Dep't of the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM), In addition, I would contact Carole Counihan at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, and then perhaps peruse the Anthro and History Department offerings at schools like UC Berkeley.

There are many programs, eg: anthro at Southern Methodist University here in Dallas, which has some very prominent faculty in the area of Mexico and the Mayans. Although they do not have a core curriculum around gastronomy of the region, they are most open to fostering a program of study combining gastronomy, anthropology, and Central America.

And although the head of the department at NYU is a noted nutritionist, and the program is indeed heavy in the nutritional arena, that is hardly the bulk of their program. For an example, check the topics of recent PhD theses, and those currently in progress.

The Adelaide program is headed by Barbara Santich, who is extremely well respected in the acadfemic arena. It is coupled with a culinary program which is affiliated with the Cordon Bleu. The Adelaide Master's is also availabe as an on-line course of study.

In case you haven't figured this out yet, I'm threatening to take the plunge too.

Regards,

Theabroma

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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SwissMiss, based on their website, the NYU program is pretty different. Four years ago, when I was looking into attending the Boston program, it was because it was steeped in gastronomy, which to me seemed to emphasize Arts and Humanities. Reading the NYU program. it seems more geared to Science and Business.

My draw to the Boston program was because of the classes in philosophy, food history, sociology, and literature. Those types of classes, at least for me, were far more intriguing than "Weight Management,"  "International Health & Nutrition Development," or the "Clinical Practice of Dietetics." Not that the NYU program isn't any good, but the Boston program was far more esoteric which is probably why it didn't last and why I found it so exciting.

I'll always regret not going...

Hi Carolyn,

All the classes you listed at NYU are part of the nutrition program, not the food studies one---while they are part of the same department, they are administered by different directors. Public health is the third component of the department. While a couple of the food studies classes are practical ones, most of the others are strongly rooted in humanities and social sciences. You can also take classes in other departments at NYU, which is a great advantage. For background purposes, I spent two years in the master's program and am now a doctoral student there. I have taken classes such as Contemporary Issues in Food Studies, Food History, Food Studies Theory, and Food Policy in the food studies department and, because of my research interests, others in the political science department, for example.

Oxford Brookes University in England is also launching a program this fall, but it might only be undergraduate at this point---not sure. And I second Theabroma's praise of Barbara Santich; I met her earlier this year and found her to be truly inspirational.

What is important, whether you decide to go for a master's or a doctorate, is to find a place that will be a true home for you, where professors and students will be supportive of you and your work. Because there are so few food studies programs, you might choose a more traditional discipline for a graduate degree; the key is to make sure that your advisor and other faculty members will be supportive of your food-focused research and take it seriously. Spend considerable time on the website of the department you're thinking of attending but also the school as a whole, to see what courses are offered, and what professors in departments like history or anthropology focus their research on topics close to yours. If you're thinking of moving for school, research the food community as a whole in that city to know about talks and events you'll be able to attend, people you'll be able to meet outside of school, and the size of the food academic circle. That will further your education and allow you to create a network that will be helpful for anything from hearing about jobs to finding out about the latest article published in your focus area.

Anne E. McBride

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Swissmiss --- Point taken. For my part, the online availability of classes is a big, if not the biggest, draw, as is its affiliation with Le Cordon Bleu. While I would love to move to Adelaide, unless I win the lottery, that ain't gonna happen.

Further...And I know that this may be controversial, so please don't flame me, but then we get into the old argument that my Dad and I used to have when I was applying to University. I would bet that a program in Gastronomy affilliated with Le Cordon Bleu would carry more weight then on affiliated with, say, The University of Washington, of which I am an alum. Great school, lots of athletic money behind it, Mary Gates Library, blah blah blah...But I don't think "Gastronomy": when I hear "The U.W." I do when I hear "Le Cordon Bleu."

Just my 2 cents

~Jason

"So, do you want me to compromise your meal for you?" - Waitress at Andy's Diner, Dec 4th, 2004.

The Fat Boy Guzzle --- 1/2 oz each Jack Daniels, Wild Turkey, Southern Comfort, Absolut Citron over ice in a pint glass, squeeze 1/2 a lemon and top with 7-up...Credit to the Bar Manager at the LA Cafe in Hong Kong who created it for me on my hire. Thanks, Byron. Hope you are well!

http://bloatitup.com

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Thank you, SwissMiss. Yes, I missed that part of the NYU website -- only seeing the more technical aspects.

For me, it is a moot point. I was looking into the Boston program during my last semester of a Master's of Fine Art program I was finishing. It was all about student loans and money. I couldn't go into the doctorate program in Boston because of the disparity between the two programs and there was no way I could afford to do a second Master's before trying towards a PhD.

But boy, did I ever want to...

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Further...And I know that this may be controversial, so please don't flame me, but then we get into the old argument that my Dad and I used to have when I was applying to University. I would bet that a program in Gastronomy affilliated with Le Cordon Bleu would carry more weight then on affiliated with, say, The University of Washington, of which I am an alum. Great school, lots of athletic money behind it, Mary Gates Library, blah blah blah...But I don't think "Gastronomy": when I hear "The U.W." I do when I hear "Le Cordon Bleu."

That's really interesting Jason, because I would never have thought of it that way! For me, the Cordon Bleu is a semi-professional culinary program, so I wouldn't think that an academic program affiliated with it would have the same clout as one affiliated with the University of Washington, for example. That the program in Adelaide is affiliated with its university and with Dr. Santich is of course more than enough credentials, but your comment brings a new light to this. It always depends on what you want to do with your graduate degree of course. For a future in academia, as I hope to have, a university path is essential!

Edited by swissmiss (log)

Anne E. McBride

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  • 3 months later...

Hello there,

Is anyone who discussed this starting a course this year.

I am about to start the MA in Gastronomy at Adelaide. I will do the first subject on-campus and the rest of the course online.

It would be great to find out who I will be studying with this year!!

Cheers,

Doc-G

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Thank you, SwissMiss. Yes, I missed that part of the NYU website -- only seeing the more technical aspects.

For me, it is a moot point. I was looking into the Boston program during my last semester of a Master's of Fine Art program I was finishing. It was all about student loans and money. I couldn't go into the doctorate program in Boston because of the disparity between the two programs and there was no way I could afford to do a second Master's before trying towards a PhD.

But boy, did I ever want to...

Carolyn

This might be kind of a long short for you, but.................If I recall correctly you're in CA, right? Bear with me a sec while I explain.

Years ago I did graduate work in Latin American Studies at UCLA. The program is interdisciplinary and you select 3 areas of specialization out of 33 possible ones. I had already been in the food industry about 10 years and knew that I wanted to incorporate that background into my work with Master's. I chose Anthropology, History and Folklore with the idea that I could use "food" and everything related to it as the basis for my papers and research. It actually worked out well and I only had a couple of classes where that wasn't an option.

But where this is leading is, the Folklore department turned out to be not only a phenomenal resource but put the idea in my head that food history, culture, anthropology, sociology actually had an academic basis. What you all are referring to as Gastronomy here. UCLA offered both a Master's and PhD in Folklore and had I not been underfunded I would have actually persued the PhD. Dont' be put off by the term "folklore". We're not talking about tales like Hansel & Gretel or Greek Mythology (those are just one small aspect), but rather a whole discipline that looks at the traditions, culture and history of people and socieities from the personal, the day-to-day and a socio/economic/anthropological point of view. It's definitely not what you think. (And try explaining that one to you parents :rolleyes: )

The Folklore department was folded into something called World Studies a number of years ago. If you go to the UCLA home page and search for World Studies you'll find the old Folklore department. They even had graduate level classes in food folklore that were wonderful. Most graduate level classes involve a reasonable about of indenpendent research and study. As long as your professor doesn't have a problem with a topic related to food - and in my experience, most didn't - you should be good to go.

There is one other option that is a real long shot, but I'm going to mention it anyway. And that is The Pacific Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara. They offer, among other things, an MA and a PhD in Mythological Studies and they recently offered a new degree, an MA in Humanities. PGI is a fully accredited university with WASC, but it's rather alternative in it's approach. It's also home to the archives of both Joseph Campbell and Maria Gimbutas. If you're read any Campbell you know that he recognized the role food plays as more than just a way to sustaining life. Once again, Mythological Studies doesn't mean the study of "myths" per se, but rather what they mean in terms of history, archetypal imprinting and current lifestyles. I'm pretty sure that you could complete a Master's in either Mythological Studies or Humanities by designing your program around gastronomy, in fact, I'm pretty sure they'd even encourage you to do it.

I've looked long and hard at Pacific Graduate Institute and the only thing stopping me is that it's very pricey, $19,000/year, and I'm not sure that at my age I want to incur $38,000 worth of debt. They do have significant student loan packages. I have a friend going to PGI right now in one of the MA Psych. programs and she's been extremely happy with her program.

At an undergraduate level, yeah, gastronomy would be difficult to make fly. But at the graduate level because of the amount of independent work and research that is done, I'm pretty sure you can earn a degree with gastronomy as the specialty. These are just 2 schools that I'm aware of at which this could be possible. One main stream, the other not.

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(chrisamirault  Posted Today, 05:54 AM)

  George, do you have any additional information about the program besides that which can be found at the link that Mel provided above?

Hi Chris, wish I could help you but that is the link with the best information. I've not been able to find any better. You can always get more info from Barbara Santich who runs the school.

(Carolyn Tillie @ Oct 1 2005, 07:56 AM)

But boy, did I ever want to...

Carolyn, there are a few funding opportunities available. I have just been awarded a scholarship that has paid 50% of my fees. I also await news of another scholarship that will pay for some more fees leaving me with just $2000-$3000 to pay which should be managable.

Whilst the applications for 2006 funding have now finished, there are ample opportunities to apply for 2007. The Culinary Institiute of America also offer a number of scholarships. Even eGullet offer scholarships. What you need to do though is get put your detective hat on and find those scholarships. Then you could study online and wouldn't have to worry about flying around the world to little ol' Adelaide!

Anyway, thats my 2c worth!

Cheers,

Doc-G

Edited by Doc-G (log)
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All worthy suggestions -- I guess for me this type of education was a serious consideration when I was in my early-30s and my student loans were just beginning. Now I'm in my 40s and the student loans I have incurred are beyond astronomical, knowing I will be paying them for the next 20+ years.

The other major factor is what has changed for me in the past decade; when I was looking at a PhD program, I was completely into the education mode. Now I am seriously involved in various businesses that will enable me to do nothing but travel within the next 12 to 18 months. If all goes as planned, I'll be reporting and writing about gastronomy from all over the globe!

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I, too, have looked at all of these, and almost applied to be a Master's candidate for the first class at the UniSG in Italy. I felt, however, that another few years in school would delay my career *another* few years, so I just set out to study gastronomy on my own. (Nevermind what the potential administrative...challenges...there would be with the university in its first year; we were asked to formally apply for the program just a few months before the semester began!)

If the news about BU's program is true, I would be quite sad. Is there a news link to this?

Doc-G, please do keep us posted about your experience with Le Cordon Bleu! I worked for them many moons ago before they branched out, and I'm dying to hear how the distance learning program is.

Jennifer L. Iannolo

Founder, Editor-in-Chief

The Gilded Fork

Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

Home of the Culinary Podcast Network

Never trust a woman who doesn't like to eat. She is probably lousy in bed. (attributed to Federico Fellini)

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  • 1 month later...

Hi People,

Just a quick update. The course starts next week proper but we have just met eachother and gone through the first week of admin/get to know eachother/get our reading.

We are an eclectic group with people of varying ages, educational backgrounds and ethnicity. However what is clear so far is that we all share a profound interest in food. I would have to say it bodes well for an interesting course from this perspective.

We just received the reading for the first 6 weeks. I'm sure anyone would agree that it truly is a huge amount of reading!! Having looked through it however, it all looks interesting and varied. The first subject is called 'Principles of Gastronomy'. The subject matter is of course self-explanatory.

I will update this thread again at some point in the future when I have something relevent to add. Maybe someone else on the course will have something else to say!!

Cheers,

Doc-G

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The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has a Culinology program.

U of NE Lincoln

It appears to be undergrad, but I think something could be done for a grad degree.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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