Food Studies Abroad: Identity, Consumption, and Learning in Italy
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Food studies offers a powerful lens through which to consider the complexity of travel, given the ways in which food can bring multiple perspectives to the table. The merging of food studies with the well-established tradition of study abroad, then, provides a platform for incorporating critical thinking and fresh perspectives into the discourse surrounding study abroad. How does food studies abroad reflect the opportunities and reify the concerns posed by study abroad in general? I explore this topic through a case study of a University of Oregon food studies abroad program, Food and Culture in Italy, looking specifically at students’ motivations, on-site experience, and perceived outcomes. I employ the lenses of identity, consumption, and experiential learning to discuss the trends that emerge from the data and conclude with a series of recommendations for moving thoughtfully and critically forward with food studies abroad programming.