Gain an understanding of food’s place at the intersection of culture, history and society

Open to:

  • any current Ohio State undergraduate student

In association with several departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Anthropology’s Food, Culture and Society certificate offers students an opportunity to explore the ways that food shapes our interactions with one another, within and across cultures, throughout history and into the present. By focusing on the cultural significance, history and social meanings of food, this certificate allows students to develop a dynamic framework for understanding the place of food in societies from a variety of perspectives.

Course Requirements

To complete the 12-credit hour certificate, students must complete four of the following courses:

HISTORY 2702: Food in World History
This course provides a survey of the history of food, drink, diet and nutrition in a global context. (GE: Historical Study; Diversity: Global Studies)

COMPSTD 2420: American Food Cultures
By exploring the historical perspective on the development of the American food system, students will explore associated discourses and cultures, leading to exploration of contemporary concerns about industrial food, the American diet, and the politics surrounding these issues. (GE: Culture and Ideas; Social Diversity in the U.S.)

FDSCTE 2200: The Science of Food
Food and nutrition in modern health; principles involved in digestion, metabolism and contribution of food to diseases processes, including food poisoning and the role of science, biotechnology and processing in meeting health and food needs. (GE: Natural Science)

WGSST 3101: Food and Gender
If you are what you eat, then food is a means for understanding gender, sexuality, culture, society, race, and socioeconomic class. Employing a feminist framework for thinking through food, we explore such topics as vegetarianism, diets, pleasure, farming, hunger, fat studies, boycotts, eating disorders, waste and culinary heritage.

RUSSIAN 3530: Russian Cuisine in History, Literature and Culture
Exploration of Russian cuisine: its history and its role in Russian literature and culture. Using classical Russian literature as well as cookbooks and cultural histories as textbooks, students will study the relationship between food and culture and the artistic representation of Russian cuisine. (GE: Culture and Ideas)

ANTHROP 5614: Ethnobotany
How have plants shaped human lives over time? How, in turn, have people influenced the lives of plants over the course of humanity’s existence on this planet? In this class, we will delve into human-plant relationships, examining how humans have relied on plants to meet our most basic needs, from our sustenance to security.

ANTHROP 5624: The Anthropology of Food: Culture, Society and Eating
Employing an anthropological lens, students will explore food traditions, global expansion of foods and the production/exchange of food in culture and society. 

How to Apply

For any questions or information about how to apply, please contact the FCS-CRT Advisor Jeffrey H. Cohen at or 614-247-7872.