Food Study Field Study in Perugia, Italy Summer 2018

UmbraStudents.jpgThe Food Study Field Study in Perugia, Italy, will bring food and methods together by offering students two courses – Anthropology of Food (ANTH 161) and Workshop in Ethnography (ANTH 151). By integrating these two courses – one topical and one methodological – students will receive rigorous training in the key theoretical debates and ethnographic studies in the anthropology of food and hands-on experience by learning and practicing ethnographic research methods. By taking a topical course and a methodological course simultaneously, and by pursuing a field-based independent research project that connects these two courses, students will learn how anthropological methods, ethnographic materials, and theories relate to one another. Students will also satisfy two upper-division courses that count toward the requirements for the UCSC anthropology major and minor. Completion of ANTH 151 also provides students with the training strongly recommended for pursuing research opportunities in the anthropology department. 

For more information including course descriptions, video and photographs from Perugia, visit The Umbra Institute- UCSC Food Study Field Study program page.


Program Leaders

Professor Lissa Caldwell
Professor Lissa Caldwell

Lissa Caldwell is Professor of Anthropology at UCSC and Editor of Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies. Her research and teaching focus on issues of social justice and political practice, with special interest in the ways in which food is used as a form of political expression and mobilization. Her new research focuses on food hacking. At UCSC she has been part of the campus Food Studies network, and she has regularly taught “Food and Culture” and the “Anthropology of Food,” as well as courses on “Consuming Culture,” “Poverty and Inequality,” “Memory,” and “Ethnography of Russia and Eastern Europe.”

She has been conducting ethnographic fieldwork in Russia since the 1990s, and has also done research across postsocialist Europe. Some of her favorite memories of fieldwork in Russia include visiting her friends at their summer cottages and then picking and eating wild mushrooms and berries covered with bird poop, getting harassed by security guards for taking pictures in a grocery store, and falling asleep at the table during the eight-hour birthday party thrown by one of her dearest friends, an 80-year-old babushka.

Professor Caldwell is excited to be leading this study abroad program, not just because it will allow her to explore new food experiences in Italy, but also because it will be an exciting opportunity to bring together her two passions: the anthropology of food and ethnographic field methods.

Rebecca Feinberg
Rebecca Feinberg, PhD Candidate

Rebecca Feinberg is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research maps the assemblages of people, places, and plants that go into making a bottle of Italian wine. She is finishing her PhD at UCSC’s Anthropology Department, where she has taught courses such as ‘Anthropology of Food’ and ‘Labor in Food Systems’. She has been studying, researching, and teaching across Italy since 2008, most recently with UCEAP’s program in Florence as the instructor for ‘Unmaking the Mediterranean: Nationalism and Nationstates’.

While Rebecca has a broad knowledge of Italian culinary worlds, she is more interested in the people behind the meal than the contents of her plate. Whether harvesting grapes with migrant workers, interviewing biodynamic farmers, or guiding students through outdoor markets, she is always keen to get to know the hands that feed us. Rebecca is excited to be part of a program that combines challenging coursework with hands on experience. Her class provides students with a contextual background and set of ethnographic tools to use as anthropologists in training as they embark on their own exploration of Italian social worlds and foodways.

Course Offerings

  • ANTH 161: Anthropology of Food (5 units)
  • ANTH 151: Workshop in Ethnography (5 units)

Financial Aid Availability

You must take a minimum of 6 units during Summer Session to access Financial Aid. If you rely upon Financial Aid, you can enroll in both courses offered on this program.

Program Dates

June 23 - July 27, 2018

Program Cost


Eligibility Criteria

  • Good Academic and Disciplinary Standing at time of application and every quarter prior to departure
  • 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher at time of application and every quarter prior to departure
  • Be at least 18 years old by the program start date
  • Completion of ANTH 2: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, or equivalent with Prof. Caldwell's approval

Application Requirements