The kitchen is home to food preparation and everyday conversations, not a privileged place of formal religious rites. But much can be learned about religion by focusing our analytical gaze on this seemingly benign space. By expanding the focus of where, and how, we study religion, the kitchen is revealed as a remarkably unstable social space. In this course we will consider questions such as: Is the kitchen constructed as a sacred, profane, or an in-between space? How is the kitchen gendered? Is it perceived as a dominantly female (or male) space, and under what conditions of power? How is food used to construct religious or racial identity, and why is it so powerful? Are kitchen practices cultural or religious activities? And who identifies kitchen work as an authentic (or inauthentic) religious practice? To answer these questions, we will consider a variety of religious, and not-so-religious, traditions within North America.
This course is for second-year students and higher.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Eth; BU IS; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM; UC CD