Taco Literacy: Public Advocacy and Mexican Food in the U.S. South
“You can now study tacos at the University of Kentucky,” read the January 2016 headline on Munchies, a website and video channel from Vice media “dedicated to food and its global purpose” (Cabral). In a matter of minutes, the interview about Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies (WRD) 422 Taco Literacy, a course I designed and piloted days before the story appeared, went viral. For a brief moment the University of Kentucky (UK) became the focus of food literacies across the nation for a writing class about tacos in the US South. Beyond the headline, the article described taco literacy as more than tacos, however. As I explained to Munchies writer Javier Cabral, I envisioned taco literacy as a course engaging qualitative research studying foodways, the social, cultural, economic, and symbolic practices of producing and consuming food, as a prism for understanding demographic change and social issues facing Mexican immigrants in their new home of Lexington, Kentucky.
Foodways approach culinary practices and eating habits as social research that intersects with public advocacy. In terms of organizing the course, I established four goals. The four stated goals for Taco Literacy included that students would 1) write about their personal connections to Mexican food and their sense of Mexican food as part of Southern and global cuisines; 2) engage with food politics by researching the production of ingredients in a particular dish of their preference; 3) further research into the topic connected to local variances and the movement of the dish to different locations, and 4) explore foodways social movements and food activist voices in the South and transnationally. WRD 422 students also used digital platforms to publish their research and contributed to a class archive of original ethnographic research into the foodways of Mexican Kentucky, housed on the website http://tacoliteracy.com. These digital archives became public records of the growing Latino communities of the South, and the issues these communities face.
UK is a large public land-grant university with a combined undergraduate and graduate population of over 30,000 students and growing. WRD 422 is one of the upper-division electives for the WRD undergraduate major and minor—one of the newest major and minor programs offered in the College of Arts and Sciences, the UK’s largest college. According to the WRD catalogue, “The course is designed to connect the study of persuasion in specific social movements, campaigns, and genres with opportunities for students to create texts and campaigns. This course may offer a historical or contemporary focus, and may examine local, regional, national, or transnational movements” (“Course Descriptions”). WRD 422 is repeatable with different instructors, as the focus will change depending upon instructors’ approaches to teaching and learning about public writing. Prerequisite courses are WRD 320 Rhetorical Theory and History and/or WRD 322 Rhetoric and Argument, two courses that are also electives for majors and minors.
WRD was initially a division within the Department of English at the University of Kentucky. In 2014, WRD became a stand-alone department. Since then, WRD has also added a minor in Professional and Technical Writing. The dynamic flexibility of WRD appeals to students who choose a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science to major or double-major and offers three tracks: 1) professional writing and editing, 2) rhetorical theory and practice, and 3) digital studies. The first track is geared to students interested in editing and publishing or writing for the non-profit or business sectors. The second track is for students interested in community advocacy, government, or law. The third track is for students who want to write, design, and produce content for online spaces; for this track, students learn digital literacies by making multimodal projects. Regardless of track, students choose from a range of electives that connect to their interests and through which they produce work toward a senior portfolio. WRD students are required to complete 27 elective credit hours for the major and 18 for the minor. The variety of courses on public writing, like WRD 422, address local literacy practices as social action. In the realm of public advocacy, WRD 422 largely attracts students enrolled in the second track for the major and minor, but bears significance for students interested in how local groups use digital tools to communicate transnationally.
The two required courses for the WRD BA/BS are WRD 300 Introduction to WRD and WRD 430 Advanced Workshop Senior Project. WRD 300 introduces students to the theory of rhetoric and composition. Students examine the theoretical, ethical, and stylistic issues connected to writing in various rhetorical situations, including digital environments. WRD 300 intends to be a theoretical foundation for all other WRD courses. WRD 430, at the other end of the spectrum, is the culmination of the WRD major, a student-driven capstone project completed under the direction of a faculty member and with collaboration from classmates. WRD senior portfolio projects can take three forms: a traditional thesis (for students going to graduate school), a digital installation presented live and/or online, or a portfolio (in print and/or online format) demonstrating distinction in a range of projects. WRD 422 prepares students for the portfolio projects undertaken in 430 by introducing a range of particularized topics, tools, and research to build upon for extended study. WRD 422 Taco Literacy in this respect is an upper-division course that extends public conversations beyond the classroom into communities with stakeholders. This focus on community entails ethnographic research into local lived experiences expressed through foodways literacies.
In recent years, there has been a steady increase in the number of trade publications and cookbooks on Mexican food. Popular interests in in the transnational migrations of Mexican food connected to multilingual, transnational, and cross-cultural issues in the humanities, including representations of Mexican cooking in film and literature (Soler and Abarca), food memoirs (Chávez), and culinary histories (Arellano; Morton; Pilcher). In addition, scholarly works about Mexican food across disciplines range from important social justice issues in regards to food activism (Counihan and Siniscalchi), migrant labor (Purcell-Gates), targeted marketing (Carr Salas and Abarca), and the translation of indigenous cuisine for corporate consumption in different contexts (Calvo and Esquibel). Indeed, the influence of food across the US-Mexico border is deeply connected to local experiences of global migration Global migration connected to the history and networks of Mexican and Mexican American food in the United States demonstrates how transnational community literacies sustain emotional connections and local relationships among individuals building publics across borders and languages.
The turn to foodways for me was an extension of a previous WRD first-year composition course where I focused student attention on the demographic changes of “Mexington, Kentucky.” In that class, I took students on a tour of one of the barrios of Kentucky to explore a local bakery, a western wear store, a family-owned grocery store, a bilingual library, and a local taquería. Needless to say, the tacos were a hit with the students. As it were, students were familiar with the local prestige of some of Lexington’s Mexican restaurants thanks to media coverage from national outlets such as fivethirtyeight.com, which ranked Lexington’s Tortillería y Taquería Ramírez burrito as one of the best in the nation (Barry-Jester). I decided with the success of the food unit to design an entire class exploring the foodways of Mexican migration in the South that would engage ethnographic methods.
Foodways literacy research requires students to conduct fieldwork in communities, and to learn by listening and recording the stories of local lived experiences around food. In Writing Instruction in the Culturally Relevant Classroom Maisha T. Winn and Latrise P. Johnson write, “students can be involved in participatory action projects such as examining ‘spatial location and demographic trends’ in their community [. . .] and study the linguistic practices of others through close listening” (71). Winn and Johnson’s ideas about students becoming ethnographers also apply to students conducting writing projects about foodways that explore social advocacy and neighborhood inequalities. WRD 422 prepares student researchers to pose arguments and compose reflective writing about foodways as well as pose critiques about sociopolitical issues affecting the public. As ethnographers, students compose a great deal of writing, such as field notes and reflective observations, interview transcriptions, tables, concept maps, and literature reviews of primary and secondary sources. With a broad array of ethnographic tools, students’ assignments evolve as processes of writing through cultures and lived experiences. Qualitative research also contributes to students’ increasing awareness of social and cultural contexts, and works to build academic writing strategies like community collaboration, description, revision, analysis, and investigative writing. For the course, students created WordPress websites where they archived their research, which covered topics stretching from the links of Kentucky burgoo and Mexican birria soups, Mexican food restaurant franchises across the South, gendered family roles connected to food, organic produce available in barrio markets, and city policies regarding street food vendors.
For teachers who share a social justice vision of learning and for students who wish to explore public advocacy within communities, learning by listening to the wisdom of local stakeholders is of the utmost importance. In Del Otro Lado: Literacy and Migration Across the U.S.-Mexico Border, Susan V. Meyers argues that an activist methodology requires the “ethical responsibility of adding to or giving back” to local communities (14). Meyers theorizes that a “reflexive critical ethnography” has the potential to rewrite the impact of researchers in their own studies. I extend this notion of reflexive critical ethnography to a social justice orientation for ethnographers as public advocates, mediating between community audiences, participants, and competing representations and stories, while being attuned to diverse voices advocating for change. To this social justice orientation, I agree with Meyers that writing instructors must reinforce the importance of ethical responsibilities with regards to local communities and whom researchers claim to speak on behalf.
The public advocacy in the course from my view came into focus with my own critical reflexive research among Latino activist communities in the South. Over my four years of living and teaching in the South, my research into the literacy practices of Latinos and Latin American immigrants has led me to the linking of foodways, community activism, citizenship, and literacy. Through my research, I’d come to discover the deep emotional connections to food shared transnationally among Mexican immigrants across the nation, including the barrios of Kentucky. Yes, the barrios of Kentucky.
According to U.S. Census data, the Latin American-origin population of Kentucky nearly tripled between 1990-2010, with nearly 90% of Latin American migration in Kentucky coming from Mexico. Research has demonstrated that stiff border policing criminalized Latin American return migrants crossing borders or overstaying visas (Mohl; Rich and Miranda). The heightened levels of border security compelled formerly transnational migrants to settle in Kentucky rather than risk the inability to leave and never return. During interviews over tacos and coffee, I also met several families who moved to Kentucky when anti-immigrant sentiment toward Latin Americans in Georgia and North Carolina increased. In those states, an increasing hateful and dehumanizing rhetoric connected to xenophobic policy became emotionally distressing. Sharing food with community members when discussing lived struggles became a humanizing opportunity for coming together to learn from and share with one another.
Even with that experience with food and ethnography, I think it was in my classrooms where I realized I needed to teach a WRD class focused exclusively on Mexican foodways in Kentucky. When teaching WRD courses that have examined rhetorics of citizenship and the literacy practices of immigrants, I began turning more to how students in courses looked to these issues via social media. I use the verb “look” immediately because our platform of choice has been Instagram. On Instagram, students from different classes used the hashtag #MexKy to archive their required Instagram posts exploring issues in the local Mexican community. As students contributed to this archive, I noticed that without prompting, students would explore images and repost their findings to share with classmates and with their audiences of followers.
Building on the success of Instagram in the previous course, I included the platform for Taco Literacy. What I learned from this, and what I learned from teaching about the complexities of immigration to largely white students at a Southern university, is that people in Kentucky love Mexican food. You can peruse #tacoliteracy on Instagram to see for yourself. Students constantly posted pictures of themselves eating Mexican food, or documenting memories they had of special events at Mexican restaurants. Several students uploaded images of restaurants where they worked. A few students even uploaded posts of themselves preparing Mexican food. Students used the opportunity to explore and publish their images and stories of Mexican food, offering advice, writing reviews, and interacting with one another. I found students’ uses of Instagram for engaging audiences involved with farm labor activism in Mexico especially insightful. By exploring geotags and hashtags, students were able to research and communicate with farm labor activists advocating for wage increases and boycotts. Connected to these political uses of Instagram, students realized that the platform was both a space for sharing about a culture’s cuisine, but also for engaging publics for social movements around migration that are local and transnational. Foodways, in other words, became a point to explore further, and with that, I realized the tremendous potential for blending the study of digital literacies, foodways, and—one of my special interests—tacos in Mexican Kentucky.
Taco Literacies taught me a great deal about how WRD students approached the emotional connections of food, literacies, and narratives. Students explored the personal stories connecting people through food, piecing together narratives that are part of the foodways of communities. Foodways narratives intersect with languages and literacies, and in the case of Mexican food in the US South, with bilingual communication, community building, migration, and transnational lives. Education also becomes a theme, both in about foodways and traditions, but also in learning about culture through the languages and social situations with food at the center. In different contexts, I can imagine the shape of this class moving into more political issues that affect food production in the United States, including farm labor. Indeed, the wealth of Kentucky also has transnational agricultural importance that depends upon immigrant labor. An approach to foodways in the manner of Gabriela Raquel Ríos’s “Cultivating Land-Based Literacies and Rhetorics” points to how taco literacies could turn to deeper political forms of persuasion from activists close to the means of production. The wealth of immigrant labor in Kentucky and in so many parts of the United States is a potential fund of knowledge to explore further, and also to connect to academic content connected to local literacy practices. The intersections of foodways, literacy, photography, social justice, and emergent bilingualism are rich material for writing projects at all grade levels.
The voices of the South are indeed multilingual, representing the growing awareness of a Latino presence in the region. Over the last twenty years the South has seen the largest growth of Latin American and Latino populations in the United States. Kentucky, along with South Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee, are four of the five current states with population growth of over 100% over the last decade (Stepler and Brown). The prism of food helps students to better understand the cultural significance of food, language, literacy, and identity for Kentucky in the twenty-first century. Through the prism of food, for example, instructors can probe issues related to immigration and citizenship in ways that are welcoming, significant, and human.
As this was the first time to teach the class, I would change some things for the future. First, I would incorporate more social media into the course. Using Instagram was a good start, but I would incorporate the photo-sharing platform even more. I would possibly turn to Twitter instead of Instagram, though the option to tweet photographs would be the primary method of students sharing their work and building an audience. This aspect of cultivating a public audience via social media would be another aspect I would explore further. No doubt, the Munchies article put Taco Literacy in the public spotlight and this led students to closely consider their public voices as they shared their research.
I encourage all writing instructors to seek to learn more about foodways literacies, to look deeper into how food relates to activism and local communities. Let me assure you, when tacos on fresh corn tortillas are distributed among gente, dialogues about daily aspects of community living across spaces and languages enjoyably happen.
Arellano, Gustavo. Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. New York: Scribner, 2013. Print.
Barry-Jester, Anna Maria. “Some Restaurants in the South Stretch the Definition of Burrito.” FiveThirtyEight. ESPN, 13 Jun. 2014. Web. 13 Jan. 2016.
Cabral, Javier. “You Can Now Study Tacos at the University of Kentucky.” Munchies. Vice, 27 Jan. 2016. Web. 20 June 2016.
Carr Salas, Consuelo, and Meredith E. Abarca. “Food Marketing Industry: Cultural Attitudes Made Visible.” In Latin@s’ Presence in the Food Industry: Changing How We Think About Food. Eds. Consuelo Carr Salas and Meredith E. Abarca. Fayetteville, AR: U of Arkansas P, 2015. 203-22. Print.
Chávez, Denise. A Taco Testimony: Meditations on Family, Food and Culture. Tucson, AZ: Rio Nuevo Book, 2006. Print.
Counihan, Carole, and Valeria Siniscalchi, eds. Food Activism: Agency, Democracy and Economy. London, UK: Bloomsbury, 2014. Print.
“Course Descriptions.” Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies. University of Kentucky, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2016.
Mohl, Raymond A. “Globalization, Latinization, and the Nuevo New South.” Journal of American Ethnic History 22.4 (2003): 31-66. Print.
Morton, Paula E. Tortillas: A Cultural History. Albuquerque, NM: U of New Mexico P, 2014. Print.
Myers, Susan V. Del Otro Lado: Literacy and Migration Across the U.S.-Mexico Border. Carbondale, IL: Sothern Illinois UP, 2014. Print.
Pilcher, Jeffrey, M. Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food. New York: Oxford UP, 2012. Print.
Purcell-Gates, Victoria. “Literacy Worlds of Children of Migrant Farmworker Communities Participating in a Migrant Head Start Program.” Research in the Teaching of English 48. 1 (2013): 68-97. Print.
Rich, Brian, and Marta Miranda. “The Sociopolitical Dynamics of Mexican Immigration in Lexington, Kentucky, 1997-2002: An Ambivalent Community Responds.” New Destinations: Mexican Migration in the United States. Ed. Victor Zuñiga and Rubén Hernández-León. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2005. 187-219. Print.
Ríos, Gabriela Raquel. “Cultivating Land-Based Literacies and Rhetorics.” Literacy in Composition Studies 3.1 (2015): 60-70. Print.
Soler, Nieves Pascual, and Meredith E. Abarca, eds. Rethinking Chicana/o Literature Through Food: Postcolonial Appetites. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Print.
Southern Foodways Alliance. “Laura Patricia Ramírez – Tortillería y Taquería Ramírez – Lexington, KY.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 20 Sep. 2015. Web. 13 Jan. 2016.
Stepler, Renee, and Anna Brown. “Statistical Portrait of Hispanics in the United States.” Hispanic Trends. Pew Research Center, 19 Apr. 2016. Web. 20 June 2016.
“Student Data.” Institutional Research and Advanced Analytics. University of Kentucky. 2014. Web. 12 Jan. 2016.
Winn, Maisha T. and Latrise P. Johnson. Writing Instruction in the Culturally Relevant Classroom. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English, 2011. Print.
WRD 422: Taco Literacy: Public Advocacy and Mexican Food in the U.S. South
In recent years, there has been a steady increase of interest in the transnational migrations of Mexican food popularized by television food shows and travel journalism. In addition to the immense number of trade publications and cook books devoted to Mexican food, important social justice issues in regards to multilingualism, migrant labor and digital activism, representations of Mexican cooking in film and literature, and the translation of indigenous cuisine for corporate consumption in different contexts have also become topical. This course will examine transnational community food literacies, and how these connect stories of people and build publics across borders of all kinds. Students will explore Mexican and Mexican American food in the United States linked to rhetorics of authenticity, local and regional variations, and how food literacies situate different spaces, identities, and forms of knowledge.
Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food. Jeffrey M. Pilcher, Oxford UP, 2012. ISBN# 978-0-199-74006-2
Tacopedia. Deborah Holtz and Juan Carlos Mena, Phaidon P, 2015. ISBN# 978-0-714-87047-2
Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. Gustavo Arellano, Scribner, 2013. ISBN# 978-1-439-14862-4
Tortillas: A Cultural History. Paula E. Morton, U of New Mexico P, 2014. ISBN# 978-0-826-35214-9
- Students will begin by writing their personal connections to Mexican food, their preferences and their sense of what Mexican food means culturally as part of American and global cuisine.
- Students will engage with the history of a particular dish of their preference and further research regional differences, and the movement of the dish to different locations.
- Students will engage the global perspective of Pilcher’s Planet Taco with the national context of Arellano’s Taco USA tied to local, Kentucky responses and varieties of Mexican food.
- Students will contribute to a digital platform to blog reactions to texts and to publish their fieldwork and research about local Mexican restaurants.
- Students will research social movements and advocacy relating to Mexican food in the US South and transnationally.
Platforms and Assignments
WordPress and Instagram
You will compose 20 Instagram and 20 WordPress posts for the semester. Consider these posts as informal journal entries where you can record your fieldwork and early drafts of assignments. These posts will generate material for you to use for your formal assignments, as well as serve as a space for you to experiment with archiving your research. The dates for the sets of 5 posts are listed below.
The research project is term-long, and will be completed in 5 assignments—all published on your WordPress website. Your assignments will focus on issues discussed in class, or your reflections responding to readings, documentaries, writing from the course, and direct community research. Five major assignments will form the core of your ethnographic study of foodways literacies in Kentucky. Each assignment will build upon the previous in a process that will end with a multimedia community portfolio archived on your WordPress website. That said, you will use your Instagram posts, images, and/or videos to compose these assignments, but you must edit the pieces. Each assignment will be published on your WordPress site. Each of the five assignments covers different aspects of Mexican foodways literacies in Kentucky:
In Assignment 1 you will write about your personal connections to Mexican food and your sense of Mexican food as part of Southern and global cuisines.
In Assignment 2 you will engage with food politics by researching the production of ingredients in a particular dish, as well as the history of the dish, and interviews with individuals familiar with the dish.
In Assignment 3 you will conduct a literature review of a topic related to your research interests.
In Assignment 4 you will explore foodways social movements and community voices in the South and transnationally by conducting team interviews with a classmate. (I will be assigning individuals for pairs to interview.)
In Assignment 5 you will review your previous research and fieldwork as you compose a critical reflection that engages a scholarly argument concerning a topic or topics from your previous assignments.
Assignments will be published on a site that will become an extended single text archived online. The revised larger project will develop with the additional information and insights you gain through your fieldwork as you become more familiar with the about Mexican food, literacies, and local issues. With a research assignment like this, you will be free to add information and observations gained over time instead of feeling that earlier assumptions and conclusions are set in stone. Use the readings in class and your instincts to guide your topic choice and how you connect all five assignments.
You will depend on your classmates, tutors in the Writing Center, and me as readers who will help you make decisions about how to present material and how best to interest your audience, but ultimately you will be the expert on your particular study of your chosen topic. You can spend a lot of time developing and revising, working on certain aspects of your writing, and all of this effort and expertise will be reflected in your final project and your grade. That means that your attention to revision and your awareness of your own work habits, strengths, and weaknesses will become a very important element of your writing process. Your final course grade will be based primarily on your participation, active blogging, and your community engagement.
Assessment Criteria Grading Breakdown
|Foodways Politics Interview||10%|
|Foodways Literature Review||15%|
|Community Voices and Foodways||15%|
|WordPress Journal Posts||10%|
|Instagram Journal Posts||10%|
|Free-write about Mexican food. Class blog: creating your URL, username, and password. Also your Instagram account for class. Find images to upload your free-write. Begin reading “Sombreros Over the South” by Gustavo Arellano (distributed in class).|
|Week 2||Discussion of “Sombreros Over the South”: searching for images and reviewing food experiences. Also Google map search of Mexican restaurants in Lexington and greater Kentucky. Also further review of Southern Foodways Alliance website and Gravy podcasts. Looking for more research for your first writing.
Review the Southern Foodways Alliance oral history project “Bluegrass and Birria” (https://www.southernfoodways.org/oral-history/bluegrass-and-burria/). Begin looking at the Hot Tamale Trail (https://www.southernfoodways.org/oral-history/hot-tamale-trail/). Plan on locating two locations to conduct your research. We will create a list next class of locations from everyone.
|Week 3||5 images due published on Instagram and 5 WordPress journal posts on WordPress.
Review of the Hot Tamale Trail and overview of Tacopedia’s design and images. Also watching the documentary, “Un Buen Carnicero” (https://www.southernfoodways.org/film/un-buen-carnicero/).
Collecting images using Tacopedia. Draft of Assignment 1 due on your blog published as a page (not a post). Also review fivethirtyeight.com Best Burrito tournament (http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-search-for-americas-best-burrito-heads-to-the-land-of-sweet-tea/).
Review locations for your food of focus via Instagram. You should also include five images for your blog that you will use for Assignment 1. Your first five posts are also due. The posts should offer compliments to the images you collect, whether they are images you published on Instagram or not.
Also read over “Some Restaurants in the South Stretch the Definition of Burrito” (http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/some-restaurants-in-the-south-stretch-the-definition-of-burrito/).
|Week 4||Assignment 1 due.
Read Taco USA, Introduction, Chapter 1, Chapter 3, and Chapter 4. Begin searching for quotes from the book to speak about in class, and also type up key quotes from each chapter on your blog. We will use these for class discussion.
Discussion of Taco USA. Analyzing quotes, and also citing sources. Also watching Culchi Town https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htDtGc1SPlc.
Read Taco USA, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, and Chapter 11. For two of these chapters, find key quotes to type into your blog.
|Week 5||Discussion of Taco USA, preparing issues to discuss with author Gustavo Arellano via Skype. We will draw up a set of questions, but also bring comments and questions for Arellano about Mexican food in your experience in Kentucky.
Continue with Taco USA, Chapter 13, and Conclusion
Upload your next five images on your blog that will be included for your next project. Your next set of blog posts and IG posts are due next class.
|Week 6||Assignment 2 due.
5 images due published on Instagram and 5 WordPress journal posts on WordPress.
Debrief with interview session with Arellano and finish with Taco USA.
Begin reading Planet Taco, Introduction and Chapter 1.
|Week 7||Reviewing Planet Taco. Continue Planet Taco Chapters 2 and 3. Add three quotes so far from the reading in a blog post. You should also give the page numbers and three sentences of close reading of the quote. Pay attention to the language in the quotes and use it to help you read the passage.
Guest visitor: class tasting*
Continue Planet Taco Chapters 4 and 5.
|Week 8||Continue discussion of Planet Taco and researching further themes from the book online.
Complete Planet Taco Chapters 6 and 7. Add four more key quotes from the book in chapters you found relevant. Again, add page numbers and offer reflection of the quotes passages.
Prepare materials for both portions of midterm due next week on specified days and times.
*Saturday Class: Barrio Taco Tour, 1-3:30 pm. We will meet in front of the Main Building if you need a ride otherwise we can car pool.
|Week 9||Assignment 3 due.
5 images due published on Instagram and 5 WordPress journal posts on WordPress.
Return to Taco USA and Planet Taco for reviewing research topics. From the two books, you will research two of the cited sources from each to summarize, review, and present to the class.
Reviewing Taco USA and Planet Taco for organization models, arguments, and research.
|Week 10||Reviewing materials for class and returning to Taco USA and Planet Taco. Beginning to read “Appraising Tacos” by Samantha Duncan. Finish reading “Appraising Tacos.” Find two key passages to quote from “Appraising Tacos.” Also note that this text was composed by an undergraduate senior thesis. Review the sources to the text for further ideas for research.|
|Week 11||Review of outing. Reading reviews of local taquerías, writing reviews. Review of works cited of “Appraising Tacos” and composing food studies.
Read “De Aquí y de Allá” by Dura, Salas, Medina-Jerez, and Hill (available on Project Muse: Community Literacy Journal 10.1, 2015, pgs 21-39). Use UK Library databases.
Reading about connecting literacies to food and local communities. Learning and funds of knowledge, Mexican food, and literacy. How could students learn ____ through food?
|Week 12||Assignment 4 due.
5 images due published on Instagram and 5 WordPress journal posts on WordPress.
Remember to pay attention to narrative details in your posts. Reviewing article and exploring UNESCO and Mexican cuisine (http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/RL/traditional-mexican-cuisine-ancestral-ongoing-community-culture-the-michoacan-paradigm-00400).
Begin reading Tortillas prologue, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2.
|Week 13||Class visitor speaking about tortilla production in Kentucky.
UNESCO report and connecting to Tortillas: history of wheat and corn in Mexico, popular foods and elite cuisines. Class distinctions in Mexican food.
Read Tortillas Chapter 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Also watching The Fruits of Mexico’s Cheap Labor about transnational labor (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YT6AvAhDx8Q).
|Week 14||Discussing Tortillas. Begin watching East of Salinas (http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/videos/east-of-salinas/).
We will also contribute individually to the film’s discussion thread, leaving links to sources for readers.
Finish your second restaurant visit if you haven’t done so already.
|Week 15||Assignment 5 due.
Sharing projects with classmates, and turning projects to public audience.
Review of materials for your final project. The Best Place for Food in Mexico (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEeU4c2G7sc).
Watching “Mexican People Try Taco Bell for the First Time” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWSOiZrs3oA).