Indiana University Bloomington

Themester 2014 serves up food for thought with 'Eat Drink Think: Food from Art to Science'

  • April 24, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The 2014 Themester theme is "Eat, Drink, Think: Food from Art to Science," the College of Arts and Sciences has announced.

“Eat, Drink, Think” is intended to provoke debate and discussion concerning the vast networks of peoples, technologies and environmental systems that make even the simplest meal possible. Of interest to virtually everyone on the planet, food fills our minds and cultures as well as our bellies. It appears in our media, occupies our researchers and is central to our political and economic debates. Concern with food lies at the heart of the traditional practices of many world religions, provides rich ground for the study of history and ethics, and is often reflected in art and music.

"These days everyone seems hungry for more knowledge about their food, its ingredients, where it comes from and who produced it; this is why so many people now think of eating as a moral and ethical issue,” said Richard Wilk, professor of anthropology and chair of the 2014 Themester faculty and student advisory committee. “But we don't want to lose sight of the fact that food is also about pleasure. Food is good to think with, but it also draws us together when we share a table, and it can be an endless source of fun."

Each fall, Themester invites the Bloomington campus and community to explore an idea across the disciplines and from multiple perspectives through a variety of courses and events. Exhibits, plays, invited speakers and service-learning activities provide opportunities for investigation and dialogue on the theme.

“Themester harnesses the power of the College, with its broad spectrum of knowledge, to explore a big idea and discover connections across the disciplines,” said Larry Singell, executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Next fall the entire IU community will have the opportunity to ‘eat, drink and think’ about the many critical issues related to food across cultures and around the globe.”

Undergraduate students preparing to register for fall classes can choose from a number of course options related to food issues, including:

  • “Food and Culture” and "Prehistoric Diet and Nutrition,” offered by the Department of Anthropology.
  • "The Economics of Obesity,” offered by the Department of Economics.
  • “What is America? From Acorns to Zombies,” offered by the Department of American Studies.
  • "Food and Nationalism,” offered by the Department of International Studies.

A full list of Themester course offerings is available online.  

For the first time this year, students will have the option of earning a minor for multidisciplinary coursework related to a Themester theme. Students who are inspired by this year’s or future Themester themes can expand their explorations by organizing related courses into an individualized minor. The Themester minor is offered through the Individualized Major Program; interested students can email the program at imp@indiana.edu.

A wide variety of Themester 2014 public programs, including lectures, films and theatrical events, are being planned for fall. Themester partners annually with Union Board to bring a speaker to IU Auditorium and with Bloomington's Cardinal Stage Company to produce a play related to the Themester theme. Additional partners include IU Cinema, Grunwald Gallery, IU Art Museum, Mathers Museum of World Cultures and the Office of Sustainability. Themester is an initiative of the College of Arts and Sciences. More information is available on the Themester website.

John Lucaites, associate dean for arts and humanities and undergraduate education, and Larry Singell, dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, stand in front of the Themester 2014 bus.

John Lucaites, associate dean for arts and humanities and undergraduate education, and Larry Singell, executive dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, stand in front of the Themester 2014 bus. | Photo by Ric Cradick

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Media Contacts

Deborah Galyan

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Office 812-855-5265
  • dgalyan@indiana.edu