Dr. Brian A. Hoey (Sociology & Anthropology) together with students in his course “Culture and Environment” (ANT & SOC 466 and 566) are having a community event to demonstrate how cultural ecology provides a holistic vision of the varied, fascinating, and remarkably complex relationships that human populations have had with their distinct environments through time. The course is designed to examine dimensions of defining, organizing, and controlling the environment from a bio-cultural perspective.
The event “You Are What You Eat” is intended to provide literal food for thought. In a nutshell, if you will, we have taken the approach of cultural ecology to examine human subsistence strategies. These different strategies and the distinctive tactics employed in them are various adaptations typically categorized as hunting and gathering, horticulture, pastoralism, and agriculture. Knowing more about the ways such strategies have developed and worked through time and in different places allows us deep insight into varied ways that human cultures are shaped and give shape to their environment. When you get down to it, much of this relationship between humans and the environment is forged out of culturally-informed practices aimed to procure the food that sustains us.
At this lunchtime event, we’ll present information to help people appreciate the varied dimensions and impacts of different subsistence strategies. This will include tasty samples of food items intended to represent these practices. We’re partnering with MU Sustainability to bring additional information and useful resources for attendees on ways that they can put to good use what they’ve learned. This event is sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.
UPDATE: Read an account of the event in the MU Parthenon.