Global Foodways

The College of Charleston will host “Global Foodways” from September 2018 – April 2019. “Global Foodways” is a year-long interdisciplinary series of courses and public events promoting the message of global humanities. Three main themes will be addressed through the programming: Community of the Table, Sustainable Eating Practices, and Historical and Political Perspectives on Food. SC Humanities helped support this programming with a Major Grant.

A wide variety of events will take place, including public lectures, the production of a one-woman show called Oh My Sweet Land: A Love Story from Syria with talk-back events, a tour of religious spaces in downtown Charleston with a discussion of food and faith, and a film screening and discussion. More information about the “Global Foodways” programming can be found on the website:

On November 13, 2018, Global Foodways will pair with Mount Pleasant group Creekside Women’s Club to prepare and serve an internationally-themed meal to families of critically ill children at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Children’s Hospital.

“I envision this as an opportunity for faculty, students, and members of the community to come together to do something useful and meaningful with international food traditions,” says Project Director Lauren Ravalico. “I have been working with many different people – including students who have studied abroad and fell in love with certain dishes – to curate a really special menu for the home-cooked dinner we will serve.”

Other events in the program series include:

January 28, 2019
2nd Annual Food and Faith Jewish-Muslim Dinner
Join in discussing and eating shared classic foods of the Jewish and Muslim religious traditions. This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies and the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program.

January 2019
The Art and Pleasure of French Home Cooking
Cooking class with CofC French Studies Professor Dr. Lisa Signori and film screening of French film (with English subtitles), Haute Cuisine. Dr. Signori spent almost a decade living and working in France, where she learned classic French cooking technique and gained appreciation for using regional ingredients.

March 4-5, 2019
Want Not, Waste Not: The History, Culture, and Politics of LEFTOVERS

Lecture, panel discussion, leftovers potluck dinner, and film screening of Agnès Varda’s The Gleaners and I
Dr. Janet Beizer, C. Douglas Dillon Professor of the Civilization of France at Harvard University, will deliver a public lecture and act as a film discussant on the literature, history, and culture of leftover food, the topic of her current book project. Her research on eating practices in nineteenth-century Paris, and in particular on the re-selling of rich people’s leftovers to the poor, brings together urban history and the socioeconomics of food in fascinating ways that are relevant to contemporary questions of food insecurity. Her lecture will be followed by a “scrappy” potluck dinner and panel discussion with Dr. Robert W. Kahle, Interim Director, Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Center for Livable Communities at the College of Charleston, and a staff member from Feeding the Carolinas, the umbrella organization for North and South Carolina food banks which collect surplus and potentially throwaway food to nourish underserved and homeless populations.

On the second day of her visit, Dr. Beizer will lead an informal discussion following the public screening of Agnès Varda’s film The Gleaners and I, which is a French documentary (with English subtitles) about modern practices of gleaning, or collecting various sorts of leftovers.

March 2019
One evening during the week of March 25-29, 2019, Ms. Vicki Wilde, Senior Program Officer in Agricultural Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will give a public lecture in the Alumni Center at the College of Charleston (capacity 100), about her work in several African nations to empower women farmers. This event is meant to emphasize for the audience the importance of a humanities education in language and cultural studies as well as in women’s and gender studies for doing meaningful international work like Ms. Wilde is doing.

April 2019
In April 2019, writer, food historian, and Judaic Studies teacher Michael Twitty will be a guest of the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program at the College of Charleston. His visit will consist of a public lecture and dining event at the Kosher/Vegan campus dining hall, “Marty’s Place.” Global Foodways will serve as a promoter of the event and as a co-sponsor. Twitty’s expertise in African American foodways and Jewish Diaspora culture offers a unique perspective from which to understand the culinary patchwork of Southern food culture and history. (

April 4-7, 2019 (4 performances)
Interactive off-Broadway theatre in Charleston
Bob Waggoner Kitchen, 164 Market St, Charleston 29401

Oh My Sweet Land: A Love Story from Syria is a one-woman show about Syria, migration, compassion, and of course, food. Typically staged in home and community kitchens, the actress-narrator prepares a traditional Syrian dish of kubbeh as she embodies the many characters she encounters in her quest to record the traces of a disappearing country. Oh My Sweet Land provides the chance for Charleston audiences to experience a timely, world-class, Off-Broadway performance in a uniquely intimate setting. Hourlong performances will be followed by hourlong “talk-back” discussions, led by CofC faculty, along with invited panelists (including the star of Oh My Sweet Land and members of the Charleston Syrian community). The play brings forth a series of poignant, interdisciplinary questions at the heart of our College-wide sustainability theme of social justice, including: citizenship, immigration, war, gender, performance, religion, community, and identity.

April 11 – 12, 2019
Chocolate Grand Finale!
Public lecture, film screening of Like Water for Chocolate, and chocolate party Dr. Carla Martin, Founder and Executive Director of the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute (FCCI) and Lecturer in the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University on the Global History of Chocolate. Her visit will coincide with a showing of the Spanish-language film Like Water for Chocolate (followed by discussion with Spanish professors Silvia Rodriguez Sabater and Mary Ann Blitt) and a “beans to bar” lesson and chocolate tasting session with local sustainable chocolatier Bethany Nunn.

Sunday, April 28, 2019
The Spirited Brunch

A self-guided spiritual and edible tour of downtown congregations is tentatively planned for Sunday, April 28. The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, the Post & Courier, and the Charleston Inter-religious Council.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 21-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.