Blog: Students Dig Into Philosophy of Food in Tuscany Study Abroad Experience

May 13th, 2014 by 

Fifteen Holy Cross students are joining Andrea Borghini, associate professor of philosophy, for a summer study program titled Tuscany and the Philosophy of Food. They are staying at Panzano, above, a small historic town in the center of the Chianti region of Tuscany. Image by Andrea Borghini

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 work at a wine farm, visits to butchers, bakers, specialty stores, markets, chefs, fishermen, wine-makers, hunters, and gastronomes, as well as four meals prepared by students and faculty.

WHY THEY’RE GOING To put practice in dialogue with a selection of poignant contemporary and classic readings, the course addresses four main areas of philosophy: pleasure, ethics, metaphysics, and aesthetics. Topics include food ethics (week 1), nature and identity of foods (week 2), gastronomic pleasure (week 3), and taste and artistic foods (week 4).

WHEN May 16 – June 14

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 Foreign Language Teaching assistants Diana Biagini (2012-2013), and Luna Sarti (2013-14).

WHO’S GOING Bethanne Bartscherer ’15, Emily Campbell ’16, Marisa Carlson ’17, Madison Duddy ’16, Emilia Froio ’16, Patricia Gianfagna ’16, Zachary Longo ’16, Vincent Martello ’16, Mary Elise McGrail ’16, Stephanie Roulier ’16, Simon Tacvorian ’16, Taylor Teulings ’16, Joseph Tumblin ’16, Jennifer Walsh ’16, Matthew Wasser ’15

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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