Welcome to Col(LAB) 1.0, a prototype
This Spring the Program in American Studies launched an experimental, 3-day, mini-module to prototype the concept of the Col(LAB).
Col(LAB) 1.0 Food Matters: Risk and Privilege orchestrated a cross-campus collaboration among American Studies, CST StudioLab and the Princeton Food and Agricultural Initiative/Food Lab.
Welcome to Col(LAB) 1.0
May 2-4, 2018
Today, food in America––how we find it, grow it, buy, prepare, and eat it––has galvanized concern in communities across the U.S. and around the world.
From cultural studies scholars, environmental policy and science researchers to artists, chefs, activists, and media makers, food generates pressing conversations about culture, class, identity, industrialization, globalization, and the environment. It demands that conversations broaden across the humanities, and the sciences.
This Spring the Program in American Studies in collaboration with CST StudioLab and the Princeton Food and Agricultural Initiative are proud to initiate the Col(LAB)’s inaugural module: Col(LAB) 1.0 Food Matters: Risk and Privilege.
Through intellectual inquiry and hands-on experience (in the community and in the kitchen), Col(LAB) 1.0 explores the tension and interdependence between risk and privilege when it comes to our food systems and food culture at the multiple and intersecting levels of production, consumption, sustainability, and human choice/constraint.
*Allison Carruth, Associate Professor of English and Society and Genetics at UCLA and Director of LENS (the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies)
*Angela Creager, Thomas M. Siebel Professor in the History of Science, Princeton
* Chris Lentz, Princeton Food & Agriculture Initiative, Campus Dining
Issues of Exploration
Col(LAB) 1.0 presents students, scholars, and local practitioners from the humanities, the social sciences, the sciences, and the community an opportunity to explore the entangled issues of health, class, culture, innovation, and ecology.
Some suggested lines of inquiry:
Most importantly, we ask how our everyday habits around food consumption impact and are impacted by these larger issues. Col(LAB) 1.0 incorporates critical thinking, hands-on investigation, and experiential inquiry to help us discover and devise ways to understand these complex cultural, economic, and environmental issues.
Format* (Updated due to market day change)
Day 1: Shopping and Setting the Menu
Wednesday May 2, 2018:
Session 1: Noon to 1:20, Shopping
Collaborators will meet at noon in 42 McCosh and then proceed to the Farmers Market on Firestone Plaza. Participants will be given a limited amount of cash and conditions for shopping. (Princeton Dining will store perishables for collaborators.)
Session 2: 4:30--6:00pm, CST StudioLab in Fine Hall
Collaborators will reconvene later that same day at 4:30pm in CST StudioLab for discussions. We will establish common grounds and a set of key terms, based on presentations and discussions of the participants’ artifacts and the three short pre-assigned essays and video. (Participants are asked to bring an artifact/object (a photograph, a tool/utensil, a type of food, etc. and their brief written paragraph from their applications about how this artifact speaks to or represents their relationship with risk and privilege when it comes to food matters.)
Day 2: Food Pantry Visit
Thursday, May 3, 2018, 12:30 - 2:00 pm
Meet at 12:30 at the Food Pantry at Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau Street.
Day 3: Cooking, Making, Tasting
Friday, May 4, 2018, Noon to 2:00pm, Graduate College Kitchen
We reconvene on Friday to cook along with University Dining chefs the food purchased, taste, and explore the choices and constraints, the risks and privileges of consumption.
Col(LAB) Reflections and Writing Assignments
You will be asked to provide a “journal” throughout this experiment. The assignment encourages you to: (a) offer a window into your lived experiences with food; and (b) provide an object of reflection as you engage with critical readings, interact with other participants, visit a farmer’s market and food pantry, and cook.
i. To what extent did the readings, conversations with colleagues, field trips, and cooking experiment shift your view of your object or your understanding of food risk and privilege?
ii. Anything else you’d like to share about this experience, including feedback for continuing engagement around this topic and ideas for future Col(LAB)s.
Allison Carruth, “Slow Food, Low Tech: Environmental Narratives of Agribusiness and Its Alternatives,” in Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities, eds. Ursula K. Heise, Jon Christensen and Michelle Niemann, London: Routledge, 2017. (17 pages)
Angela N. H. Creager and Jean-Paul Gaudillière, “Risk on the Table: Food, Health, and Environmental Exposure,” unpublished book proposal. (11 pages)
Anna Tsing, “Unruly Edges: Mushrooms as Companion Species,” Environmental Humanities 1 (2012): 141–154. (14 pages)
Sponsored by Program in American Studies, the CST Studio Lab, and the Princeton Agricultural Food Initiative, with support from the Humanities Council at Princeton University.