Rachel C Kirby


PhD Candidate in American Studies

Writing, Research, and Inquiry with Digital/Multimedia Expression


Tasting Place


Spring 2022

This course (WR 152) is a topic-based seminar in critical reading, research, writing, and digital/multimedia communication.  Students practice sustained inquiry, scholarly research, and the communication of findings to different audiences and in different modalities. 

For my Spring 2022 section of this course, we will explore academic research surrounding the idea of "Tasting Place." Terroir, a French word often translated "taste of place," suggests that elements of place - the soil composition where grapes for wine are grown, for example - are ingested alongside foods and beverages. In other words, an eater consumes a place. In this class, we will explore the idea of tasting place, discussing how elements of place, identity, and culture are absorbed through eating. Students will be encouraged to think beyond the visual and verbal to examine the multisensory world and to research and write in ways that engage a range of sensory experiences. Course examples will primarily focus on food and the American South, but students will be able to apply course concepts to other places and senses in their own research.