Carnegie Mellon University

Grand Challenge First-Year Seminar: Palestinian and Israeli Food Cultures

Course Number: 66-128

In a region beset by conflict, how do food cultures allow us to approach cultural intersections and connections? This course is designed to provide students with a historical, cultural, and linguistic understanding of the hybrid nature of Jewish and Arab cultures, and the multiple ethnic contributions to local food cultures in Israel and Palestine. The two instructors, from the fields of Jewish history and Arabic Studies, will introduce students to the history, literature, film, and languages of the region, as well as to critical scholarship on food and foodways in the Palestinian and Israeli context. Students will have the opportunity to engage in cooking either locally or in Philadelphia - subject to travel restrictions - and to learn from Michael Solomonov and Reem Kassis, two award-winning US-based celebrity chefs and authors of Israeli and Palestinian cookbooks respectively. Throughout the semester, we will also host a range of guest speakers who will deliver lectures on our course topic in the classroom and in the community.

Semester(s): Fall