Blog: Students Explore Philosophy of Food in Tuscany Study Abroad Experience

WHAT A four-week immersive study program titled “Tuscany and the Philosophy of Food,” part of the College’s summer study abroad program. The highly-interactive course will provide insight into the contemporary food world. Planned activities include following the work at two wine farms, visits to two butchers, bakers, specialty stores, markets, chefs, fishermen, wine-makers, and gastronomes, as well as four home cooked meals prepared by students and faculty under the guidance of expert cooking teachers.

WHY THEY’RE GOING To put a selection of poignant contemporary and classic readings in dialogue with experiential learning. The course follows food production, consumption, and representation and addresses chief philosophical questions concerning pleasure, ethics, metaphysics, and aesthetics.

WHEN May 19 – June 19

WHERE Panzano, a small historic town in the center of the Chianti region of Tuscany, between Florence and Siena and a short distance from Pisa, Lucca, and San Gimignano. The town is home to the first biological wine district in the world, a world-class butcher shop run by the legendary Dario Cecchini, and an exceptionally rich and varied gastronomic culture, the outcome of millennia of trading and exchanges, which continues to this day.

FACULTY Italian native Andrea Borghini, associate professor of philosophy, along with Mary Catherine McDonald ’03, visiting professor of philosophy.

WHO’S GOING Catherine Conners ’18, James Creahan ’19, Gina DeFloria ’17, Leyda Frias ’18, Sarah Friess ’19, Adeline Gutierrez Nunez ’19, Victoria Jackson ’18, Katherine Lenahan ’19, Ariana Licata ’19, Visaury Moreta ’18, Maxime Nguyen ’18, Rui Qiang ’19, Vanessa Rai ’17, Eden Zavras ’18, Mary Elise McGrail ’16, Simon Tacvorian ’16

WHY STUDENTS ARE BLOGGING “The course has a strong component of experiential learning,” says Borghini. “As part of their coursework, students will be cooking, visiting producers and restaurants, scouting for food shops in Florence, Pisa, and Lucca, or talking walks in the countryside. The blog is an important vehicle for students to reflect on their experiences and to communicate them to others.”

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